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Meteor Clue To End Of Middle East Civilisations
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 4-11-2001 | Robert Matthews

Posted on 06/08/2003 7:17:12 PM PDT by blam

Meteor clue to end of Middle East civilisations

By Robert Matthews, Science Correspondent
(Filed: 04/11/2001)

SCIENTISTS have found the first evidence that a devastating meteor impact in the Middle East might have triggered the mysterious collapse of civilisations more than 4,000 years ago.

satellite images of southern Iraq have revealed a two-mile-wide impact crater caused by a meteor

Studies of satellite images of southern Iraq have revealed a two-mile-wide circular depression which scientists say bears all the hallmarks of an impact crater. If confirmed, it would point to the Middle East being struck by a meteor with the violence equivalent to hundreds of nuclear bombs.

Today's crater lies on what would have been shallow sea 4,000 years ago, and any impact would have caused devastating fires and flooding.

The catastrophic effect of these could explain the mystery of why so many early cultures went into sudden decline around 2300 BC.

They include the demise of the Akkad culture of central Iraq, with its mysterious semi-mythological emperor Sargon; the end of the fifth dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom, following the building of the Great Pyramids and the sudden disappearance of hundreds of early settlements in the Holy Land.

Until now, archaeologists have put forward a host of separate explanations for these events, from local wars to environmental changes. Recently, some astronomers have suggested that meteor impacts could explain such historical mysteries.

The crater's faint outline was found by Dr Sharad Master, a geologist at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, on satellite images of the Al 'Amarah region, about 10 miles north-west of the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates and home of the Marsh Arabs.

"It was a purely accidental discovery," Dr Master told The Telegraph last week. "I was reading a magazine article about the canal-building projects of Saddam Hussein, and there was a photograph showing lots of formations - one of which was very, very circular."

Detailed analysis of other satellite images taken since the mid-1980s showed that for many years the crater contained a small lake.

The draining of the region, as part of Saddam's campaign against the Marsh Arabs, has since caused the lake to recede, revealing a ring-like ridge inside the larger bowl-like depression - a classic feature of meteor impact craters.

The crater also appears to be, in geological terms, very recent. Dr Master said: "The sediments in this region are very young, so whatever caused the crater-like structure, it must have happened within the past 6,000 years."

Reporting his finding in the latest issue of the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Dr Master suggests that a recent meteor impact is the most plausible explanation for the structure.

A survey of the crater itself could reveal tell-tale melted rock. "If we could find fragments of impact glass, we could date them using radioactive dating techniques," he said.

A date of around 2300 BC for the impact may also cast new light on the legend of Gilgamesh, dating from the same period. The legend talks of "the Seven Judges of Hell", who raised their torches, lighting the land with flame, and a storm that turned day into night, "smashed the land like a cup", and flooded the area.

The discovery of the crater has sparked great interest among scientists.

Dr Benny Peiser, who lectures on the effects of meteor impacts at John Moores University, Liverpool, said it was one of the most significant discoveries in recent years and would corroborate research he and others have done.

He said that craters recently found in Argentina date from around the same period - suggesting that the Earth may have been hit by a shower of large meteors at about the same time


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ancienthistory; catastrophism; civilisations; clue; craters; crevolist; curseofagade; donaldpatten; donaldpatton; donpatten; donpatton; east; gilgamesh; godsgravesglyphs; iraq; marsharabs; meteor; meteors; middle; mikebaillie; satellites
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Slow news day. I liked this article so much, I decided to post it again.
1 posted on 06/08/2003 7:17:12 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Disaster The Struck The Ancients
2 posted on 06/08/2003 7:19:43 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Very cool.

I here tell there ae some even more recent craters in Iraq, coincident also with the end of a tyrant's reign.

Very cool.
3 posted on 06/08/2003 7:22:18 PM PDT by jwfiv
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To: blam
I think it's about time that more large meteors land in a few selected places, to end Middle East Civilization as it exist's today.
4 posted on 06/08/2003 7:22:27 PM PDT by andrew1957
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To: blam
Intriguing! Do you have a link to the first posting? I'd like to read over the comments.
5 posted on 06/08/2003 7:29:15 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: andrew1957
I think it's about time that more large meteors land in a few selected places, to end Middle East Civilization as it exist's today.

We would miss the Wahhabis and the Palestinians, but sometimes you can always hope...

6 posted on 06/08/2003 7:29:40 PM PDT by xJones
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To: blam
Thanks.
7 posted on 06/08/2003 7:31:13 PM PDT by patriciaruth
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To: VadeRetro; jennyp; Junior; longshadow; *crevo_list; RadioAstronomer; Scully; Piltdown_Woman; ...
Try this for a change. PING.
8 posted on 06/08/2003 7:32:02 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.)
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To: AntiGuv
"Intriguing! Do you have a link to the first posting? I'd like to read over the comments."

Not sure, I'll go look.

9 posted on 06/08/2003 7:33:55 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
"He said that craters recently found in Argentina date from around the same period - suggesting that the Earth may have been hit by a shower of large meteors at about the same time"

Very interesting. These various findings corroborate the event.


10 posted on 06/08/2003 7:35:52 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: blam
Ladies and gentlemen, scientists of all persuasions, step right up!

Got a problem with why something stopped unexplainably in the distant past, like dinosaurs, ancient civilizations, ice ages, what have you? Well, call Dandy Bob, the Fix-it Man, and he will, for a special low fee just for you and which expires one hour before your dissertation is due, fix you up with a special, guaranteed to be unprovable and irrefutable, earth shaking (haha) and ultimately irresistible gen-u-wine Comet Theory to prove that destruction of all that was but is no more was just a bolt from the heavens!

Hurry, hurry, operators are standing by the phones, first ten callers get authentic "Photos from Space" that PROVE, yes, PROVE that there be strange bumps in the ground somewhere in the general vicinity of that thing you need an answer for that might be, er, must be the elusive FIREBALL FROM THE HEAVENS that will get you and your theory into the scientific textbooks!

11 posted on 06/08/2003 7:36:06 PM PDT by KellyAdmirer
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To: blam
Immanuel Velikovsky presents lots of information in his various popular books about natural causes of the events of the Exodus. While the date of the Exodus is uncertain at best, many of the phenomena listed could be attributed to a bombardment of meteorites. Velikovsky goes on to postulate that the huge deposits of crude oil in the region could have been from a rain of oil coming at the same time and from the same source.
12 posted on 06/08/2003 7:38:21 PM PDT by RightWhale (gazing at shadows)
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To: blam
The catastrophic effect of these could explain the mystery of why so many early cultures went into sudden decline around 2300 BC.

No, it doesn't; do the math. If the civ's went out in 2300 BC because of the 2000 BC meteor, then they "knew it was coming" 300 years in advance and just folded.

On the other hand, the timing is just such (2000 BC) that the flaming debris from the meteor could well fit the description of what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah just about exactly at that time.

13 posted on 06/08/2003 7:39:34 PM PDT by Migraine (my grain is pretty straight today)
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To: KellyAdmirer
I don't noah, but there's a Lot gomorrah to be said for this than first meets the eye....
14 posted on 06/08/2003 7:40:39 PM PDT by Ronly Bonly Jones
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To: blam
This is hugh! Hello, Sodom Holiday Inn? Could I book a room this weekend? Me and the missus need a weekend alone, maybe tour Gomorrah. Take in the sights. LOVE the food, yes, although a little bit pillar-of-salty, though.
15 posted on 06/08/2003 7:40:53 PM PDT by searchandrecovery
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To: RightWhale
Agreed. Velikovsky had some amazing ideas, far ahead of his time....
16 posted on 06/08/2003 7:41:06 PM PDT by Judith Anne (The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.)
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To: zot
Ping.
17 posted on 06/08/2003 7:43:03 PM PDT by Interesting Times (Leftists view the truth as an easily avoidable nuisance)
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To: AntiGuv
"Intriguing! Do you have a link to the first posting? I'd like to read over the comments."

Yup. Here it is.

18 posted on 06/08/2003 7:46:22 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
There is some evidence that the el-'Ubaid culture was inturupted, with a layer of silt and mud seperating the begining and continuation of the culture that developed into Sumeria.

Dosen't quite fit in to this time line though, I wonder if the "Bull From Heaven" is significant.

19 posted on 06/08/2003 7:47:02 PM PDT by Little Bill (No Rats, A.N.S.W.E.R (WWP) is a commie front!!!!,)
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To: andrew1957
I think it's about time that more large meteors land in a few selected places, to end Middle East Civilization as it exist's today.

Your tagline space could be put to good use with this one.

20 posted on 06/08/2003 7:49:48 PM PDT by Thinkin' Gal (Guten Tag!)
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To: FairOpinion
"He said that craters recently found in Argentina date from around the same period - suggesting that the Earth may have been hit by a shower of large meteors at about the same time"

I have a thread on that too.

What Caused Argentina's Craters?

21 posted on 06/08/2003 7:53:07 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Or maybe there was a Flood that wiped out civilization in the Middle East 4000 years ago.
22 posted on 06/08/2003 8:01:10 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
Moses’ Comet

Mike Baillie
Discovering Archeology, July/August 1999

Moses called down a host of calamities upon Egypt until the pharaoh finally freed the Israelites. Perhaps he had the help of a comet impact coupled with a volcano. A volcano destroyed the island of Santorini in the Aegean Sea (between today's Greece and Turkey) around the middle of the second millennium B.C. Researchers Val LaMarche and Kathy Hirschboeck suggest the volcano might be associated with tree-ring evidence for several years of intense cold beginning in 1627 B.C. Could that form the basis for strange meteorological phenomena recorded in the biblical book of Exodus?

In the book of Exodus, which describes events a few hundred kilometers from Santorini, we read of a pillar of cloud and fire, a lingering darkness, and the parting of the Red Sea. An enormous column of ash must have hung in the sky over the eruption (the Israelites’ “pillar of cloud by day and fire by night?”), and the volcano doubtless caused a tsunami, or tidal wave (which could have drowned a pharaoh's army). The Exodus story is traditionally dated to either the thirteenth or fifteenth century B.C. Those dates, however, depend ultimately on identifying the “Pharaoh of the Oppression,” and historians have never proven to which ruler that infamous title referred. Many biblical scholars will disagree, but I suggest that a seventeenth-century B.C. date is not impossible.

The argument can be bolstered. Equally catastrophic meteorological conditions are recorded in the Bible for the time of King David. Psalm 18, in reference to David, speaks of terrifying events: “Earth shook and trembled. The foundations of the hills moved and were shaken. ... Smoke ... fire ... darkness ... dark waters ... thick clouds of the skies ... hailstones and coals of fire.” On some chronologies, David is placed 470 years after the Exodus. The spacing between the two disastrous events recorded in Irish tree rings at 1628 and 1159 B.C. is 469 years. The Exodus story includes dust, several days of darkness, hail, dead fish, undrinkable water, cattle killed by hail, water breaking out of rocks, the earth opening, the sea parting as in a tsunami, and so on. Someone looking at the Exodus story and knowing descriptions of other distant volcanic effects might offer the possibility that the Israelites escaped from Egypt under the cover of a major natural catastrophe. There may be veiled references to comets in the biblical narrative, leading to the possibility that the Santorini eruption itself may have been triggered by a bolide (comet or asteroid) impact. David Levy, co-discoverer of the comet that bears his and Jean Shoemaker's names, has argued that the description of the “angel of the Lord in the sky over Jerusalem with a drawn sword” (1 Chronicles 21) could be a reference to a comet. The Angel of the Lord was, of course, also present at the Exodus, as it was “traveling in front of Israel's army.” Further, there are indications that as the Israelites left Egypt, the night was as bright as midday. The nights over Europe were reported to have been daytime-bright after the only known modern bolide impact, the Tunguska explosion over Siberia in 1908.

These stories raise the question of whether comets recorded by the Chinese at the start and end of the Shang Dynasty, at very near the same dates, were the same as the comets that may be recorded in the Old Testament. I believe that we know the answer: In the last five millennia, several dynastic changes and dark ages have been the direct result of impacts and/or volcanoes. The consequences of such events must have been devastating, leading to apocalyptic imagery in religious writing and predictions of the end of the world. Zachariah of Mitylene lived through the environmental disaster that began about 540 A.D. In the mid-550s, he wrote in his twelve-volume records of the trials the world had survived: “In addition to all the fearful things described above, the earthquakes and famines and wars, ... there has also been fulfilled against us the curse of Moses in Deuteronomy."“ The curse included pestilence, consumption, fever, fiery blasts from the skies, mildew, a rain of powder and dust, and darkness. The curse of Moses must have seemed an appropriate description of life after the impact of a piece of a comet.

23 posted on 06/08/2003 8:01:20 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
I have a thread on that too.
What Caused Argentina's Craters?
---

Great. Thanks. Very interesting. Each investigation: in Egypt, Iraq and Argentina was done separately and they independently came up with the approx time frame, which is the same and it all fits together.

And they say we shouldn't worry about Meteors. I don't think we should worry, but I do think that with our current technologies we should develop a system so we can do something about them.
24 posted on 06/08/2003 8:11:49 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: RightWhale
Yes, the more digging we do into the past, the more evidence we unearth to suppport at least Velikovsky's claim of ancient destruction, if not his theory about its cause. Interesting stuff...
25 posted on 06/08/2003 8:22:02 PM PDT by plusone
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To: LiteKeeper
"Or maybe there was a Flood that wiped out civilization in the Middle East 4000 years ago."

Does A Global Flood Make The Whole Bible Less Credible?

26 posted on 06/08/2003 8:27:24 PM PDT by blam
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To: balrog666
Ping for perusal over the morning coffee.
27 posted on 06/08/2003 8:29:45 PM PDT by balrog666 (When in doubt, tell the truth. - Mark Twain)
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To: blam
BUMP
28 posted on 06/08/2003 8:31:50 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Soddom has left the bunker.)
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To: KellyAdmirer
You forget that the egregious hucksters on TV are televangelists.

But don't let that stop you from being condescending as to real scientists - it helps identify which luddites shouldn't be listened to.

29 posted on 06/08/2003 8:34:47 PM PDT by Chancellor Palpatine (nice taglines are for sissies)
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To: andrew1957


We could always say it was a meteor.. ;-)

The meteor moab...I like it.
30 posted on 06/08/2003 8:39:40 PM PDT by SouthernFreebird
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To: blam
You post the most fascinating articles. This crater looks to be a possible "God-Zot." :^)

A good deal of speculation going on which is always fun; especially when ancient histories, lore, and cultures are involved. This article combined with the one about Iran opening up it's Persian past make for great reading. Thanks for the post.

31 posted on 06/08/2003 8:42:45 PM PDT by Ligeia
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To: Ligeia
Thanks.

"the one about Iran opening up it's Persian past make for great reading."

Do you have a link to this artricle?

32 posted on 06/08/2003 8:46:08 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Here you go. It's not much yet but it's a very encouraging start.

Iranians going back to pre-Islamic Days

33 posted on 06/08/2003 8:49:21 PM PDT by Ligeia
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To: All
http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/cccmenu.html

The above link will take you to the Cambridge Conference
Network which follows such news.

Piser has had speculation of large craters in southern
Iraq for some time now. What remains to be done now is
to get in and get some core samples to narrow the date
range. I'm sure that the margin of error in dating the
age of the suspected impact crater is currently large
enough to terminate the civilization of your choice.
34 posted on 06/08/2003 8:54:35 PM PDT by DeepDish
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To: SouthernFreebird
I like that LOL, The meteor moab, we can deny everything, and still level Mecca, Iran, just give it a guidance system looking for minarets. To the moon alice....
35 posted on 06/08/2003 9:01:11 PM PDT by holyh2o
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To: holyh2o
this site explains it all in great detail.....www.mt.net/~watcher/ufos.html
36 posted on 06/08/2003 9:13:10 PM PDT by gypsy-joker (praise the lord and pass the ammunition)
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To: Ligeia
"It's not much yet but it's a very encouraging start."

Thanks, Encouraging, I agree.

37 posted on 06/08/2003 9:17:32 PM PDT by blam
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To: PatrickHenry
Pretty cool stuff, I love science, it is just too much fun!!
38 posted on 06/08/2003 9:20:30 PM PDT by Aric2000 (If the history of science shows us anything, it is that we get nowhere by labeling our ignorance god)
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To: Chancellor Palpatine
Thanks, always glad to help out. Haven't been called a Luddite in a while, feels real good!
39 posted on 06/08/2003 9:22:00 PM PDT by KellyAdmirer
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To: Thud
FYI
40 posted on 06/08/2003 9:22:02 PM PDT by Dark Wing
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To: blam
Looks like the desert demon known as "allah" was pretty incompetent when it came to stopping a meteor.

Big surprise there.

41 posted on 06/08/2003 9:23:27 PM PDT by Mulder (Live Free or die)
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To: Mulder
"Looks like the desert demon known as "allah" was pretty incompetent when it came to stopping a meteor."

This happened 2500+ years before Mohammad showed up. I do wonder though if that rock they worship came from this event.

42 posted on 06/08/2003 9:30:58 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
That thought came to me, too.
43 posted on 06/08/2003 9:35:42 PM PDT by Chancellor Palpatine (nice taglines are for sissies)
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To: blam
A humbly ask that you look at this rather long article which deals with the issues raised in the linked thread. I believe you will discover that the reality is that the position that thread advocates is really unacceptable. Thank you

Special Feature: Hugh Ross Exposé

44 posted on 06/08/2003 9:37:41 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: blam
Why is it that you can never find a meteor when you need one???
45 posted on 06/08/2003 9:42:04 PM PDT by navyblue
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To: navyblue
I know, I was looking for one in the medicine cabinet the other day, and all I found was my toothpaste!
46 posted on 06/08/2003 9:45:42 PM PDT by KellyAdmirer
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To: LiteKeeper
"Special Feature: Hugh Ross Exposé"

Thanks.

My orientation is scientific and I never, ever, discuss religion on FR, especially the creationist/evolution BS!

47 posted on 06/08/2003 9:45:55 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Say blam, as a catastrophist, I suspect that you ever heard of Donald Patten. I have three of his books. His latest is called "Catastrophism and the Old Testament." Velikovsky's theory was based on Venus as a loose cannon in the solar system, Patten believed it was Mars.

Patten theorized in Old Testament times that Mars was not in the nice orderly orbit it is in now. Periodically it passed close to the earth, each time wreaking havoc on a gigantic scale, scaring the living daylights out of people.

This is why amongst the ancient Greeks, Romans, etc., Mars was so prominent. Mars was the leading deity in 8th century BC Rome. Mars Hill in Athens, for instance (Acts 17:22) is named for the planet.

Patten said, ?From whence in Roman culture comes the ancient advise to beware the ides of March? It came from pioneer Rome, the most ancient era of Roman experience, when the Romans were still living in the catastrophic era.? March (named after Mars) was the time of the year, according to Patten, that Mars had interacted with earth.

If indeed you have heard of Patten, what is your opinion of his stuff?
48 posted on 06/08/2003 9:51:10 PM PDT by sasportas
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To: blam
I've got the Pierce translation of the Oera Linda Book {which became public in the 1860s in Holland} and it dates the destruction of Altland and upheavals in the world to 2193 BC.
49 posted on 06/08/2003 9:52:06 PM PDT by Rockpile
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To: sasportas
"If indeed you have heard of Patten, what is your opinion of his stuff?"

Sorry, I've not heard of Patten. I'm a fairly new comer though.

I believe long period comets (crossing earths path) could have provided enough excitement without involving the planets in weird movements.

Maybe Encke

50 posted on 06/08/2003 10:02:59 PM PDT by blam
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