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Professor Says Mayan Calendar Does Not Portend Earth's Doom (2012AD)
Tuscaloosa News ^ | 1-1-2003 | Steve Reeves

Posted on 01/01/2003 3:18:59 PM PST by blam

Professor says Mayan calendar does not portend Earth’s doom

By Steve Reeves
January 01, 2003

TUSCALOOSA | Does our planet have only a scant 10 more years of existence left?

Some people believe the ancient Mayan calendar suggests the end of the world will come on Dec. 21, 2012.

But University of Alabama professor Enrique Gomez is not among them.

“The world won’t end in 2012," laughed Gomez, who teaches in UA’s astronomy and physics department. “I can assure you of that."

Gomez, a native of Mexico City, said he is much more interested in Mayan culture and how the Maya wove together ideas about creationism, astronomy and their calendar into a narrative about their view of the world.

He will talk about the Mayan civilization on Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. in room 227 of Gallalee Hall on the UA campus.

The Mayan civilization, which was located in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, began to crumble around 900 A.D., but its people left behind valuable contributions to art and literature.

They built pyramids and invented an elaborate system of writing, which they used to record significant events in their history.

“The Mayans were a very sophisticated culture, and they were a very literate culture," Gomez said.

Early Mayas, who had a keen interest in the stars, came up with two calendars ó the “Short Count" and the “Long Count." Each is intricate and relies on aspects of astronomical cycles. The Long Calendar used special symbols to signify each day, week and month.

The Mayans put their Long Count system in place more than 2,300 years ago, and for some reason made Dec. 21, 2012 the end of the calendar.

Some researchers believe that date is important because it coincides with the winter solstice, and on that date the Milky Way galaxy, on which the Mayans placed great significance, will align with the sun.

Many authors and scientists have said Dec. 21, 2012, is the day the Maya believed the world would end. Gomez said no one knows for sure if the Mayans intended to portend the end of the world on that particular day.

“It’s kind of hard to say exactly what they meant," he said. “We do not know exactly what person came up with the calendar and the significance of certain dates."

Gomez said what is really significant about the Mayan calendar is that it was in use for at least 26 continuous centuries.

“It was a calendar that was used by many different cultures and in many different languages," he said. “It’s part of our common heritage."

Reach Steve Reeves at steve.reeves@tuscaloosanews.com or 722-0208.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeoastronomy; archaeology; calendar; catastrophism; doom; earths; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; mayan; mayans; olmecs; professor
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first 1-5051-72 next last
We're all gonna die!!
1 posted on 01/01/2003 3:18:59 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Professor says Mayan calendar does not portend Earth’s doom

That's a relief.

2 posted on 01/01/2003 3:21:11 PM PST by governsleastgovernsbest
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To: blam
We have but 9 yrs to conquer the globe ;-)
3 posted on 01/01/2003 3:25:43 PM PST by Prodigal Son
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they mayans supposedly moved every few hundred years or something....Chichen Itza was the last place, with a trail of places behind them to the south. I always figure that 2012 was their next moving date.

I've been hoping to run into a joker in person who believes the end of the world thing...so I cold test them on this bit of history but luckily I never have.
4 posted on 01/01/2003 3:27:40 PM PST by KneelBeforeZod
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To: blam
“It’s kind of hard to say exactly what they meant,"

It's kind of hard to take any culture seriously who murdered the winning team as a sacrifice in their version of basketball.

5 posted on 01/01/2003 3:30:52 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: KneelBeforeZod
Several years ago, there was a shaggy-haired, very ernest young man outside a Metro station in D.C. with a sign that said, "The world will end on September 18." Starting on 19 September, I never saw this young man again.

Congressman Billybob

6 posted on 01/01/2003 3:35:02 PM PST by Congressman Billybob
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To: blam

7 posted on 01/01/2003 3:36:05 PM PST by Sparta
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To: blam
The Mayans couldn't predict the end of their civilization, I doubt they would have a clue about the rest of the world.
8 posted on 01/01/2003 3:36:47 PM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: blam
Some researchers believe that date is important because it coincides with the winter solstice, and on that date the Milky Way galaxy, on which the Mayans placed great significance, will align with the sun.

Is it just me, or is this sentence entirely devoid of meaning?

9 posted on 01/01/2003 3:39:29 PM PST by Oberon
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To: Oberon
I know.....What exactly does "the Milky Way galaxy will align with the sun" mean? The sun is within the MW galaxy, just one of countless millions of stars situated on one of its spiral arms.
10 posted on 01/01/2003 3:44:30 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: blam
It's always amazing how many people who reject Christianity as too mystical and complicated willingly accept the rantings of a bunch of cannibalistic savages who scratched crude drawings into stone. It's like the Steve Martin routine where he said "If I didn't have my lucky astrology mood watch, I'd have nothing to believe in at all!"
11 posted on 01/01/2003 3:49:14 PM PST by IronJack
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To: blam
It's worse than you think. I just checked my new calendar and it'll happen December 31st, 2003 not in 2012.

We're doomed, doomed, I say!

12 posted on 01/01/2003 3:51:14 PM PST by Bob
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To: blam
. . . and on that date the Milky Way galaxy, on which the Mayans placed great significance, will align with the sun.

Huh? We're IN the Milky Way, more specifically, in the Orion arm of the Milky Way. So in what sense are we "lining up" with it? Astrology columnists shouldn't be allowed to write on science!

13 posted on 01/01/2003 3:54:34 PM PST by LibWhacker
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To: Dog Gone
It's kind of hard to take any culture seriously who murdered the winning team as a sacrifice in their version of basketball.

I don't know.  The winner of the Super Bowl  has lousy draft picks and used to
play a tougher schedule the next year.  Of course any culture that elevates basketball
is in deep doodoo, anyway.
14 posted on 01/01/2003 3:59:01 PM PST by gcruse
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To: KneelBeforeZod
I always figure that 2012 was their next moving date.

It's probably the date of the last Mexican heading out of Mexico --to the US.

15 posted on 01/01/2003 4:02:20 PM PST by FITZ
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To: IronJack
It's ironic to me that people who cast aspersions on literate, pyramid-building, successful cultures as 'savages' turn around and swallow whole the invisible-man superstitions of desert dwellers from thousands of years ago.
16 posted on 01/01/2003 4:03:06 PM PST by gcruse
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To: IronJack
the rantings of a bunch of cannibalistic savages who scratched crude drawings into stone

True ---they had a good calendar but they never got around to inventing the wheel and had to drag or push everything.

17 posted on 01/01/2003 4:04:23 PM PST by FITZ
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To: Congressman Billybob
Several years ago, there was a shaggy-haired, very ernest young man outside a Metro station in D.C. with a sign that said, "The world will end on September 18." Starting on 19 September, I never saw this young man again.

LOL! Sorta like this guy:

William Miller (1782-1849). Predicted the world would end on at least three separate occasions in 1843 and 1844.

What's really odd is that his church not only survived the failure of the prophecy, but prospered. Go figure.

18 posted on 01/01/2003 4:05:09 PM PST by AnAmericanMother
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
That's a relief.

Jeez, having a university academic assure me that the world won't end in 2012 is
about all I need to convince me that 2012 could be the end of the world as we know it today...
19 posted on 01/01/2003 4:06:34 PM PST by VOA
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To: blam
Nuts. Looks like I gotta return those library books after all...
20 posted on 01/01/2003 4:07:02 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Oberon
Is it just me, or is this sentence entirely devoid of meaning
on that date the Milky Way galaxy, on which the Mayans placed great significance, will align with the sun.

How in the world could the Milky Way align with the sun?
Isn't the sun just one of about 100 billion stars within the Milky WAY?

Godspeed, The Dilg
21 posted on 01/01/2003 4:08:52 PM PST by thedilg
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To: IronJack
You got it exactly right, Jack.

Who says the Mayans have any insight into anything, especially the future! Did they see their own doom coming? Ha!

The New Agers have been hawking December 22, 2013 A.D. for over a century.

Heathen predictions are heathen. Doomed and damned.

22 posted on 01/01/2003 4:09:04 PM PST by Precisian
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To: FITZ
"True ---they had a good calendar but they never got around to inventing the wheel and had to drag or push everything."

They didn't have any animals large enough to pull a wagon.

23 posted on 01/01/2003 4:09:29 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
“The world won’t end in 2012," laughed Gomez, who teaches in UA’s astronomy and physics department. “I can assure you of that."

Now, I'm worried. ;-)

24 posted on 01/01/2003 4:09:39 PM PST by StriperSniper
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To: blam
That's it! I'm hitting the shower!
25 posted on 01/01/2003 4:09:49 PM PST by GodBlessRonaldReagan
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To: All
The Precession cycle of the Zodiac....the 12 signs...the 12 ages.
12 x 1,260....26,000 yrs our time measure.
Some in the Catastrophist side of historical study believe that knowledge has been forwarded via astronomical math/symbolisms..indicating junctions..or crossing points.
Our Galaxy Porpoises up and down on the galactic plain...passing through areas which have comets of immense magnitude.
the "Crossing"..disloges some comets...they begin to spiral into our solar system ...this process can take millions of years..or less.
the comets become torn apart by gravametrics within our system...some drawn in by Jupiters gravity well..some by the Sun.
some will circle the sun..to be sling-shot out...becomeing comets of long and short period.
some comets will fragment..portions impacting planets..with remaining on ellipses of varied time interval.

An area science is looking into to understand..and may have been noted...mapped to some degree by the ancients..and passed on.
recently several comets have appeared...comets of long duration...unrecorded by man.
they appeared suddenly...the portent...more could be on the way.
Scientists were able to time move the continents on computer...the Chixilub impact that was said to have terminated the Dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous had infact not been the only impactor...3 more were mapped..hitting the earth in the equitorial region of that time.
The impacts were bigger than Chixulub.
This information supports the notion of giant comets being torn appart within our solar system by gravametrics...like a frieght train...like Shoe Maker Levy 9..they spiral in ..one after another.
Extinctions...Epoch ending realities could very well be caused by Catastrophism.....the catalyst for this....comets.

26 posted on 01/01/2003 4:29:03 PM PST by Light Speed
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To: Light Speed; RightWhale
I subscribe to the concept you stated in post #26.

Did Asteroids And Comets Turn The Tides Of Civilizations

27 posted on 01/01/2003 4:43:23 PM PST by blam
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To: VOA
2012 could be the end of the world as we know it today...

Maybe that is the year that sha'ariah law will be proclaimed in the U.S.

28 posted on 01/01/2003 4:47:26 PM PST by Alouette
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To: Light Speed
Disaster That Struck The Ancients.
29 posted on 01/01/2003 4:47:33 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Huh. I must have the wrong Mayan calendar.

I have the one with the picture of the kitten in the watering can.
30 posted on 01/01/2003 4:50:42 PM PST by PoorMuttly
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To: blam
Still a debateable topic....Mars.
The moons around Saturn and Jupiter are "Shot gunned" with impactors...some..due to their rotation interval are clobbered on one side...the opposite with hardly any impact sites.
Some hold to the notion that a planet exploded....some see a Giant comet which had been torn apart the culprit.
One scientist commented..."Mars looks like a Murder victim".
3 impactors tore into Mars in succession....they tunneled into Mars inner recessess...the gravametric waves going out the other side othe planet formed 2 huge mountains..Olympus Mons being one...I think it initself is the size of the USA.
The other impactor generated such gravametric energies that the shock wave split Mars open on the other side...Valles Marineris....Grandcanyon looks like a scratch compared to this.
On Mars is a feature..known as the "Line of Dicotomy"...its as though the top half of the planet bounced from the impact...the surface and its lower depths lifted up..and flung off the planet like a dog shaking off water.
Of note...several ancient Greek myths speak of a celestial battle..a war between the Gods..also linked to these stores are tremendous upheavels recorded by man .
Immanuel Velikovsky started to ..join the dots as they say back in the 1940's...his suspiscion of Catastrophism peaked by the mythology and cause effect dynamics revealed.
Some in the scinetific community believe Mars was impacted eons ago....some consider this event may have occured within mans collective memory....12,000 bce and earlier.
Velikovsky...Clube,Napier...jeered as lunatics by the scientific community..may find history writting a more complimentary note on their behalf.
31 posted on 01/01/2003 5:03:08 PM PST by Light Speed
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To: blam
"... By Steve Reeves "

Well, if Hercules ain't worried- I ain't either.

32 posted on 01/01/2003 5:04:50 PM PST by mrsmith
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To: gcruse
>...swallow whole the invisible-man superstitions of desert dwellers from thousands of years ago. <

Does this mean that you're from the "We came from nowhere, we're going nowhere, for no purpose" crowd?
33 posted on 01/01/2003 5:20:37 PM PST by G Larry
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To: Light Speed
Velikovsky's biggest problem was that he tried to explain everything. I think Clube, Napier, Bailey and Baillie are on the correct track.

Earth's Volcanism Linked To Meteorite Impacts.

34 posted on 01/01/2003 5:24:04 PM PST by blam
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To: Oberon
Is it just me, or is this sentence entirely devoid of meaning?

Do you suspect you are entirely devoid of meaning? Some people worry about this kind of thing.

35 posted on 01/01/2003 5:26:09 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: G Larry
No, it means I won't throw out the greatest gift next to life, rationality, because of fear of death. Are you among those who will believe anything that makes them comfortable?
36 posted on 01/01/2003 5:27:34 PM PST by gcruse
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To: blam
The V was awesome though wasn't he...

Mocked that Venus was the passing body for the gravametrics recorded by mankind...he still has some in the scientific community saying.."Hey..wait a minute"..Venus has an orbit that is nearly circular...it does not fit the model.
Venuses surface and ejecta gas blanket surrounding the planet could have been caused by super heating...heating to values only movement alligned to gravametric energies could generate.
the comment..."Venus might have settled in just a while ago...and still be cooling off"
there is more peculiarities about Venus that have NASA ,JPL types scatchin their heads.

37 posted on 01/01/2003 5:40:03 PM PST by Light Speed
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To: Light Speed
Many of Velikovski's conclusions have not proved out. But we can't fault his collection of data. There are still masses of mammoth and sabertooth bones, and hide, in the frozen muck around Fairbanks, Alaska. Perhaps he didn't nail the catastrophes exactly, but that there have been catastrophes is not in doubt.
38 posted on 01/01/2003 5:41:09 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: Semper Paratus
Obviously, that's the day that the UFOs are coming to pick up their great-great-great-(times-a-few-dozen)-grand-children. And when they don't find any, they're gonna be p*ssed.

TS

39 posted on 01/01/2003 5:41:55 PM PST by Tanniker Smith
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To: gcruse
Where does your "rationality" suggest your "gift of life" came from?

My faith is in Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
There is no comfort in knowing that I fall short every day.
It's a constant challenge.

There was no suggestion by the post your were responding to or mine, that there should be any fear of death.
40 posted on 01/01/2003 5:44:50 PM PST by G Larry
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To: Light Speed
(Dated, but interesting anyway)

THE DANGER AND THE DEFENSE

A cosmic trail with destruction in its wake

by Nick Nuttall
Copyright 1990 Times Newspapers Limited The Times, May 24, 1990, Thursday

Over the next few weeks the Taurid stream, a procession of vast cosmic rubble and dust that snakes around the Sun and out towards Jupiter, will swing through Earth's orbit for the first of its bi-annual crossings.

Within the stream are probably thousands of bodies including asteroids, mountain-and island-sized boulders, smaller meteoroids, Encke's Comet and assorted fragments of celestial refuse.

The exact number, size and location of objects, however, remains a mystery and according to Dr. Mark Bailey, research Fellow in astronomy at Manchester University, it is likely that for every object which is confirmed, there are nine others that have so far eluded detection.

All that is certain is that the rubble, believed by some astronomers to have been formed by a collision in the asteroid belt of a defunct comet which was captured by the solar system up to 30,000 thousand years ago, will bisect Earth's orbit in late June and again in November.

According to astronomers such as Dr. Victor Clube, of Oxford University's Department of Astrophysics, the coming and goings of the Taurid stream should be a source of concern to politicians, planners and anyone who cherishes life on Earth.

A ''catastrophist'', Dr. Clube is one of many astronomers who are convinced that within this celestial procession lie the seeds of mass destruction an Armageddon of biblical proportions. ''The matter requires urgent attention. It is crucial that everyone is woken up to the danger,'' Dr. Clube says.

The chilling scenario envisaged is of Earth and one of the 46,000mph objects in the Taurid stream colliding during one of the orbital crossings.

Dr. Clube says: ''It is analagous to a nuclear war with a megatonnage of the same order and all the effects of nuclear war with debris from the impact causing sunlight to be blocked causing a Dark Age or Ice Age.''

He has coined the phrase ''Multiple Tunguska Bombardment'' to describe the worst nightmare which, he believes, will eventually happen. Tunguska refers to a Siberian River near which, in June 1908, a 100 yard body from the Taurid stream ploughed into Earth, exploding and devastating an area 25 miles wide with the impact of a 20-megaton bomb.

Fortunately the encounter occured in an unpopulated part of the globe but if the impact had been on London it would have devastated the city, killing millions. The Tunguska event may have been only a chance occurence.

Yet, according to Dr. Clube and Dr. Bill Napier, of the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh, whose book Cosmic Winter is published next month, the history of Earth is littered with subtle evidence that cosmic debris have consistently intervened, often with catastrophic consequences.

One of the most popular theories to explain the sudden demise of the dinosaurs is that, 65 million years ago, a huge asteroid ploughed into the planet, triggering either a nuclear-style winter or huge fires.

This popular theory was given a boost only last week when scientists at the University of Arizona reported the discovery of an apparent 180-mile-wide crash site in the Caribbean of an asteroid six miles wide. They claim this could be linked with the great reptiles' extinction.

Dr. Clube ascribes other events including the Old Testament story of Noah and his Ark to a Dark Age linked with colliding heavenly bodies. He also believes that climatic changes, including fears of present global warming, may have a cosmic component.

There is sufficient evidence, he says, to indicate that collisions happen within centuries and millenniums rather than millions and billions of years, with multiple encounters more likely than sceptics claim.

Dr. Clube emphasizes that predicting when a bombardment may occur is impossible without more scientific evaluation of the Taurid stream.

''We are probably a little safer at the moment because the intersecting orbits are far away. But we are on the inward run and in 500 years we will start getting close again,'' he says.

According to Dr. Clube, the last time that the stream was closest within Earth's orbit was in the first millennium BC, from about 500BC up to 0AD, the time of Christ.

It is vital to overcome complacency about the threat from cosmic debris, he says. This complacency is relatively new, as pagan and ancient civilisations such as the Babylonians were firm believers in the threat of of cosmic destruction. Part of the blame for this complacency rests with the breakup, in 1845, of Comet Biela without any easily visible effect on Earth.

''This rather relaxed attiude to comets, which has persisted to the present day, helped turn 19th century opinion against a prevailing catastrophist view of evolution,'' Dr. Clube says.

''Indeed, the eventual disintegration of Comet Biela into dust made it no longer out of place for biologists and geologists to explain evolution in processes that were non-violent and slow-acting.''

''In short, it became fashionable to assume that the world is safe when in fact multiple Tunguska bombardments, releasing around five-thousand megatons, the equivalent of a full-scale nuclear war, may happen at intervals of about 1,500 years, producing a Dark Age,'' he says.''To suggest the planet is safe is absurd.''

The Oxford astrophysicist is not alone in his views. Similar concerns were echoed last week by the respected American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

The institute is calling for studies aimed at defending the Earth from asteroid attack, including the possible redeployment of nuclear weapons to shatter incoming celestial bodies.

The call comes in the wake of thawing East-West relations and what is being claimed as a recent, potentially disastrous near-collision.

Last year, 1989 FC, a cosmic boulder bigger than an aircraft carrier, passed within 400,000 miles of Earth, a mere whisker in astronomical terms, before being noticed by astronomers.

''Such an object could cause a disaster of unprecedented proportions if it had struck. Although the probability is very small, its consequences in terms of the casuality rate could be enormous,'' the institute argues in a paper it released about the problem.

Apart from putting nuclear warheads on standby for intercepting and shattering asteroids, the institute is calling for studies into power units that could attach and divert the celestial boulders away from Earth.

''We have the technology needed to detect and track such an object and possibly to divert if from an impending impact. We would be derelict if we did nothing,'' the institute says.

Dr. Clube is hoping to get access to an infra-red telescope to study the Taurid stream during the November crossover.

In 1983, a satellite revealed what appeared to be dust following Comet Encke, but some scientists, including Dr. Clube, now believe that this contains the single large missing body, perhaps as large as 20 miles wide, shrouded in dust and boulders.

The best chance of detecting the defunct comet might come in 1994 when the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) is expected to launch the infra-red telescope, ISO.

Dr. Bailey says: ''We are learning more about these objects almost every week. We are realizing that there are quite a large number of fairly large objects, ranging in size from just a few hundred yards to six miles across, which are in Earth's collision orbit.''

Along with Dr. Bailey, Dr. Clube supports the institute's call for improved monitoring. But both British astronomers are concerned at suggestions of shattering incoming asteroids.

They believe that there is the danger that by solving one large threat, it may create scores of smaller ones. Cosmic Winter by Dr. Victor Clube and Dr. Bill Napier. Published in June by Basil Blackwell (Pounds 16.95). The Origin of Comets by Dr. Mark Bailey, Dr. Victor Clube and Dr. Bill Napier. Pergamon Press.

41 posted on 01/01/2003 5:45:12 PM PST by blam
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To: RightWhale
I agree with you RW....in his day..it was pioneer science.
still..amazing insight for the 40 and 50's.
I like the questions he asks...some of his concepts nearly require our technology now to put together..our ability to shift land masses via computer over time values.
His insights into debrie movement in the high arctic are very interesting...in his support..Glacial construct is written off by our present science...something else moved volumes of material..it looks to be hydraulic action.
42 posted on 01/01/2003 5:50:06 PM PST by Light Speed
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To: blam
the institute is calling for studies into power units that could attach and divert the celestial boulders away from Earth.

That is exactly where the effort needs to be. Spotting such objects is one thing. Doing something about it is another.

43 posted on 01/01/2003 5:51:00 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: gcruse
literate, pyramid-building, successful cultures

"Successful???" Uh huh. You see a lot of Mayan influence in today's stock market, technology, and arts. They're as "successful" as the dodo.

The anthropological evidence for Judeo-Christianity exists. I don't know what's "invisible" about it, except to those wearing revisionist blinders.

44 posted on 01/01/2003 6:00:46 PM PST by IronJack
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To: Light Speed

The Dark Ages: Were They Darker Than We Imagined?

45 posted on 01/01/2003 6:01:32 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Really good atricle blam....Encke most likely a Super torn appart...throtling the inner solar system for thousands of years...
Came across an article concerning "Stonehenge"..the comment being that Stonehenge may be a celestial clock..marking the transit periods of earth crossing the Taurid meteor stream.
We may not see Encke as such a threat..possibly due to the fact that much of Encke's debrie stream as allready impacted amidst our inner system.
but...long ago...that might not have been the case.
Mankind terrified during the seasons when earth crossed Encke's ellipse.
Researchers like Graham Hancock have been looking for other celestial markers..temples....left by man as a warning system with encoded messages.
46 posted on 01/01/2003 6:01:34 PM PST by Light Speed
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To: blam
Some people believe the ancient Mayan calendar suggests the end of the world will come on Dec. 21, 2012.

So does this mean I don't have to finish paying off my mortgage??

47 posted on 01/01/2003 6:04:59 PM PST by Mo1
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To: blam
Interesting point you made on the chat thread...Islam's symbolic linkage to the second earth crossing transit thru Encke's debrie stream.
Ramadan historically falling in that time window.
The Star..[A COMET]...the moon phase... on the Islamic flags.
48 posted on 01/01/2003 6:08:53 PM PST by Light Speed
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To: Light Speed
Before The Stones: Stonehenge I As a Cometary Catastrophe Predictor?
49 posted on 01/01/2003 6:18:35 PM PST by blam
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To: Sparta
He's ready for it!
50 posted on 01/01/2003 6:20:35 PM PST by sheik yerbouty
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