The Ancient Greek Legend of the Archer and the Scorpion

According to ancient legend, Sagittarius is said to be shooting at the Heart of the Scorpion, the "Heart" being represented by the star Antares (Alpha Scorpius). Studying the alignment of Sagittarius' arrow (Delta Sagittarii -- Gamma Sagittarii), we see that it is presently not aimed at Antares. However, if we calculate the positions these stars had in earlier millennia, we find that the aim was on target around 13,865 ± 150 B.C. At that time, the arrow trajectory came within two-tenths of a degree of designating the location of the Galactic center. The book Earth Under Fire gives details about this alignment and how this constellation cipher describes the occurrence of a Galactic core explosion.

Interestingly, the significance of this encoded date came two decades later. Glaciologists analyzing the acid content of the Antarctic ice core record were perplexed to discover a unique acidity peak, termed the "main event," which spanned an entire century and deposited about 18 times as much acid fallout as the largest known volcanic eruption (Hammer et al., 1997). Dr. LaViolette first became aware of this finding in September 2000 and discovered that, when the event was properly dated using the time-depth chronology he had developed for the Byrd ice core several years earlier, this peak commenced around 13,880 B.C. and tailed off around 13,785 years B.C. Hence it spanned the date indicated by the alignment of Sagittarius' arrow. He surmised that finally he had found evidence of the catstrophic event described in the zodiac's ciphered message.

The glaciologists had been puzzled by the regularity with which this acid fallout waxed and waned and by the long duration of each cycle which lasted far longer than any known volcanic erruption. But Dr. LaViolette noticed that the period of this cycle matched that of the eleven-year solar cycle. Shortly afterward the Ulysses spacecraft team announced measurements indicating that the rate of influx of interstellar dust into the solar system varies cyclically with solar cycle phase due to the waxing and waning of the outward pressure of the solar wind. Consequently, LaViolette concluded that these acids may have been deposited by a major influx of dust of either interstellar or cometary origin. Based on the amount of dust deposited with these acids he was able to calculate the density of this material between the Earth's and the Sun and found it to be sufficiently high to produce an 8 percent absorption of the visible solar radiation component reaching the Earth. The influx of this nebular material falling into the Sun would explain why the Sun had begun to become very active on this past date with the solar cosmic ray flux increasing as much as 50 fold or more. This dust incursion event had a decisive climatic effect, for it marked the beginning of the end of the last ice age. A dust incursion episode of this magnitude corroborates the type of terminal ice age event that LaViolette had proposed in his Ph.D. dissertation back in 1983.

It is interesting that ancient cultures memorialized this important celestial event in their star lore. This may constitute the oldest known recorded astronomical observation. It suggests that a high level of scientific advancement must have existed in the "stone age" era. The ancient Egyptian myth which describes Horus being stung by a scorpion and darkness engulfing the world refers to the final return of light as occurring when Toth exorcises the poisons from Horus and precipitates them to Earth (detailed in Earth Under Fire). These poisons may be a reference to the invasion of this acidic dust. Antarctic ice core studies of this event show that it was rich in hydrochloric and hydroflouric acids. One ancient Druid myth may also be making reference to this acidic dust saying that God punished man for his wickedness "by sending a virulent poison on the earth" by means of a violent wind. According to the ancient Britons,

"The profligacy of mankind had provoked the great Supreme to send a pestilential wind upon

the earth. A pure poison descended, every blast was death."

The Druid myth states that this was succeeded by "a tempest of fire, which rent the earth asunder and flung the sea upon Britain, submerging the whole country." This may be referring to the response of the energized Sun which produced an abrupt climatic warming. Interestingly, the geologic record shows that a major Heinrich event occurred at this time in which giant waves of glacier meltwater had transported continental rock debris thousands of miles into the sea.

Dr. LaViolette's proposal about the cosmic origin of this acid bearing polar ice core dust appeared in the April 2005 issue of the journal Planetary and Space Science (Volume 53 (4), pp. 385 - 393). A preprint of this technical paper is available for free download. Also in this paper LaViolette describes how global climate abruptly cooled during this century long episode and was followed by a warming trend lasting almost three millennia. Previous researchers had missed this climatic correlation due to an error in dating their ice core climatic profile which had mistakenly placed the cooling spike associated with the main event, 250 years earlier prior to its occurrence. So, in addition to establishing an cosmic dust origin for this event, this paper is the first to report that this event also had a very significant impact on the Earth's climate.

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