A Different Kind of Catastrophe

This entry, I would like to introduce a guest writer – Dennis Cox. I was very impressed with his theories of a Different Kind of Catastrophe! He not only comes through with a new theory, but research to back it up. Please give him an opportunity! And Thanks Dennis for a very well written article.


I was trained to do battle damage assessment in the military. And it has been an interest ever since. A long time ago I noticed some explosive blast effects in the southwest US, and central Mexico that couldn’t be explained to my satisfaction. I knew nothing of the work on the Younger Dryas cooling, or proposed fragmented comet impacts. But it was a wonderful conundrum. I knew I was looking at the results of an unimaginably violent event that flew in the face everything I had ever learned. I knew of no natural energy release to account for them. For that matter I knew of no kind of energy at all that could do what I was seeing, not even military.

I’ve found volumes of evidence pointing to a vastly different kind of impact event than what is described in any of the literature. By a very common kind of object; a highly fragmented, explosive comet.

And the blast effected materials of the event I’ve discovered have convinced me that almost all of standard uniformitarian/gradualist landform theory on the North American continent is hopelessly naïve. And is just downright wrong. What’s more; I can prove it. But I bring no joy for the creationists either. And standard impact theory takes a hit as well. So it’s a lonely world I’ve stumbled into.

The ground effects, and blast effected materials I’ve noticed, and cataloged all point to something that happened around the end of the last Ice age. I never set out to explain the Younger Dryas events. Rather, when I learned of work on the Younger Dryas Boundary layer, I realized they confirmed some of what I had found. It confirmed, if nothing else, that an event of the level of destruction I was looking at did indeed happen. And recently enough too. So I see the recent work on the YDB layer as corroborating circumstantial evidence, that’s all. This kind of event has happened a lot all over the world. And once you understand which landforms are associated with them. You’ll see their effects are as common as the craters on the moon.

If we think of the Earth and Moon as a binary system, or gravity well, then it is fair to assume that if objects randomly enter that gravity well, then they should divide proportionately according to the sizes of the individual attractors in that system. Or to put it more simply: We must get hit about six times more often than the moon, and by bigger objects. All of the landforms on the moon, every mountain range, every depression, every feature you can see, are impact related. Anyone with a toy telescope can look up on a clear night and see whole mountain ranges that were raised up in seconds sometime in the past. The study of astronomy gives us a pretty good idea of the frequency of the various sizes of impacts. And anyone can look at the erosion of land forms here on Earth and see how slow that process is.

But when we consider all of those factors at the same time we come to an uncomfortable paradox. There should be a lot more impact structures; big ones, clearly visible, and with little, or no, erosion. In fact, there must be at least one major mountain range on the Earth, however old, or deeply eroded, that owes its very existence to an extra-terrestrial impact or explosion. And yet, there is not a single accepted theory that allows for extra-terrestrial events as one of the possible driving forces in landform creation.

To be fair, in all of recorded history there hasn’t been a single significant ballistic cratering event like we see in the simulations. We don’t even hear about a classic, ballistic cratering, impact event like the simulations show in the archetypes of our most ancient of myths, and legends. But the firestorm of mass extinction impacts that wiped out North America a few thousand years ago did happen. We have the burned bones of the corpses for proof.

And we have other materials that tell us conclusively of the almost inconceivable heat and pressure that must have happened at some places in the firestorm. Such heat and pressure is only found in an ET impact event. Those specific materials are the nano-diamonds found in the Younger Dryas Boundary layer (YDB). (Firestone et al 2007,2009, Kennett et al 2008,2009) They are important for the fact that they weren’t brought here. Rather they were formed in the atmosphere during the violent explosions of multiple comet fragments. And the heat, and pressure, required to produce them makes them a valid proxy for understanding the atmospheric conditions they formed in. They are a barometer, and pyrometer, rolled up into one.

The fragmented impact hypothesis as a trigger for the Younger Dryas cooling, and the megafaunal extinctions at the end of the last ice age has been criticized by some because of problems with a large object being able to be broken up in the atmosphere, and dispersed over a large landmass without any of the fragments being big enough to make an impact crater. And many of the critics cite the supposed strength of an asteroid. It’s true, the atmosphere shouldn’t be able to do that to a really big, fast moving, solid rock before any of it gets to the ground. But we aren’t talking about a dense, rocky asteroid that broke up when it got here. We are talking about a fragmented comet. The Deep Impact mission to comet TEMPEL 1 showed the head of that comet to have the consistency of a dirty snow bank. It also showed that the object is a geologically active body. Comet HOLMES is unstable, and prone to violent outbursts. And if we look at the recent HST images shown above of the fragments of Comet LINEAR we clearly see that fragmentation of an icy comet can occur spontaneously before it even gets close to a planet. It doesn’t need the atmosphere to do that.

It’s been more than a hundred years since the Tunguska phenomenon. There has been no end to the crack-pot theories. But the Russian scientists haven’t been sitting on their hands all this time. There are literally hundreds of excellent, peer reviewed, papers on the subject. The explosive cosmogony of comets has been exhaustively studied, and thoroughly described. (E.M.Drobyshevski et al) So the nature of those explosions is understood better than most realize.

The nano-diamonds originated in unimaginably hot, and violent, above ground explosions, right here in the skies of earth. And Nano diamonds being found all over the world just means the violent conditions of heat, and pressure, it takes to form them are not uncommon at all. It doesn’t make the detection of their existence any less significant. It makes it more so. When you hear ancient legends of a fiery rain of stones, or fire coming down from the sky, you are hearing an oral history account of a nano-diamond producing, thermal impact, event. The widespread detection of them confirms those ancient stories as actual history, not mere myth.

Mark Boslough, at Sandia Labs has done a super computer simulation that depicts the atmospheric effects of an above ground blast like Tunguska but much larger. It shows the object exploding high in the atmosphere. But it retains it’s momentum. And, in a moving explosion, all of the kinetic energy continues on down to the ground in the form of a supersonic downdraft shock wave hotter than the surface of the sun.

For comparison, an ordinary ox-acetylene cutting torch in a steel shop uses a thin stream of hot gases at only about 1600 degrees F. and 40 PSI. to cut steel. The speed of that stream of hot gasses is only a little bit more than a stiff breeze. But that’s all it takes to turn solid iron into a melted, aerosol, spray. And to blow it away in runnels of melt into heaps of slag. The nano-diamonds in the YDB layer are significant in that they formed under hot, violent, explosive, atmospheric conditions all over the north American continent that should have been able to do that to whole mountain ranges. Those conditions of intense heat, and pressure can only happen in an impact event. And yet no one has ever found a crater. But that much heat, and pressure, only goes away peacefully in children’s bedtime stories. So, since the surface scars the impact firestorm made must be here right under our feet, then maybe the pretty, perfect circle, craters we see on the Moon, and Mars, and that we’ve come to assume we should expect here on Earth as well, aren’t what we should be looking for at all. But if we’re not looking for round craters, then what kinds of planetary scaring are we looking for?

The atmosphere translates all of the kinetic energy into heat. But it doesn’t dissipate it. And contrary to standard impact theory, the most common forces acting on the ground in an airburst impact event are heat, and pressure, not kinetic shock. The reason that round craters are rare isn’t because we rarely get hit. They are rare because we rarely get hit by non-explosive rocky bolides, or asteroids.

It turns out that the Tunguska object was only rare in that it arrived alone. And it was such a puny little thing. A large, highly fragmented comet consisting mostly of ices that are almost as violently explosive as hydrogen peroxide rocket fuel is a much more frightening kind of monster; and much more common. The form the planetary scaring takes is characterized as a non-volcanic melting event hot enough to make stone flow like water for a moment. And ballistic/kinetic shock has almost nothing to do with it.

An in escapable fact that can not be ignored is that the most violent natural disaster, and extinction level impact event, in 65 million years was only a few thousand years ago. We have the burned bones of the extinct animals for proof. But standard uniformitarian, gradualist, landform theory is in complete denial of the geomorphology of the event. The high priests of the Church of the Uniformitarian Confabulation would have us accept on faith alone that such a thing can happen. That it is possible for an extinction level event to kill all the life on half a continent, severely compromise the food chain in the rest of it. And then leave no geological trace.

Impact science is very poorly understood. A fact readily acknowledged by most competent impact scientists, and grad students. But hotly denied by the freshman class. And by folks who get their science from the discovery channel. This was a very different kind of impact event . It was caused by the impacts, and detonations, of objects different from anything ever studied before. And they produced planetary scaring different from anything ever imagined before. The claim that looking for the markers of a normal impact didn’t turn up evidence of this one. is like saying they tuned their search to detect the tiniest trace of oranges, and they didn’t find any evidence of apples.

For me, the trail started in Mexico. And the ignimbrites of the Chihuahuan desert. Impact melt is often misidentified as volcanic tuff. But whether volcanogenic or not the word “ignimbrite” meaning fire cloud rock is still appropriate. Until now The patterns of movement, and flow of the Chihuahuan ignimbrites in central Mexico have never been studied. And except for a small along a stretch along the highway between Chihuahua City, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, they are completely unmapped.

My work is simply an ongoing study of the fluid motions of those ignimbrites. The sudden, unimaginably violent events of their formation can be understood to an amazing, and extraordinary, level of detail if one simply studies how the blast effected materials moved during emplacement. So the only questions I am asking here are concerned with are simply: How did it move, and flow, during formation, and final emplacement? We need only to get enough altitude to see the actual patterns of movement, and flow, to determine the exact movements, and true points of origin, of a sheet of surface ignimbrites. So the science of Fluid Mechanics has the trump card. And it doesn’t get any easier than when the materials are exposed, in pristine condition, on the surface.

We have been told that “most Geologists agree” that those ignimbrites were deposited in the so called Mid-Tertiary Ignimbrite flair up between 25 and 40 million years ago. such an ancient date for the formation of these ignimbrites can’t be supported.

The ignimbrites of the Chihuahuan desert, extending all the way up into west Texas, and New Mexico are on top of every thing else in perfect condition. They are the pristine capstone of the geologic column. And with the exception of the occasional sage brush here and there they did not look any different when they were still hot, and smoking. If you tell me they are thousands of times older than the stones in the monuments of the Nile. I’ll quote the great Bill Gates and tell you “that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

And then there is the lack of enough volcanic vents to account for 40,000 square miles of ignimbrites. You can’t say it came from one direction if it was flowing the other. And the proposed trap door rift vents that simultaneously open, spew a few thousand cubic miles of ignimbrites, and then close without a trace involves some crazy mantle physics that would only make sense to a 5 year old fan of Dr Seuss. And just ain’t possible in the real world. As a matter of fact, if you take a typical paper on the “Mid Tertiary Ignimbrite Flare Up” and you line out all of the untested, assumptive reasoning, there is nothing left. So the mid tertiary ignimbrite “flair up” is a confabulated, mythical event that did not happen.

If it takes months, or years to map a few miles along a highway from the ground it’s time to bring the work into the twenty first century and use the satellites our tax money paid for, and do it from space, or it’ll never be finished. Thanks to NASA, Landsat, and Google, I can produce my own image map of any given area on the continent in full spectrum color with resolution down to 1 meter per pixel. And computer memory is the only constraint to size. I have a couple I’ve had printed professionally that cover a whole wall. If you look at a specific location anywhere in those flows it is very easy to see which way it was flowing at any given point. And backtrack it to its source location. A sheet of clear plastic, and a handful of markers, and you have a large area, hi-resolution flow map. Complete with little directional arrows.

Ignimbrites, literally “fire cloud rock”, or tuff as they’re more commonly called, in satellite images, have the look of wet, fast flowing, concrete, or lumpy mud. They are always formed in an explosive event. So, as a blast effected material, they are a clear, and direct signature of the motions of the explosive event they formed in, no proxy required

Any given fragment of ignimbrite, no matter the scale of the event it formed in, was only in fluid state on the surface for a few violent seconds at most. Even in a super eruption that goes on for days. So if two flows of melted stone are representative of two separate events, even a separation of only a few seconds, then one of them will be seen to be over-topping the other, already solidified one. But if they were both melted, and flowing at the same time, the interaction between the two will be a fluid convergence. i.e. They will inter-finger. Or they will come together like two rivers flowing into one.

Everywhere, in all of the tens of thousands of square kilometers of random, colliding, flows of ignimbrites you’ll note that, without exception, the patterns of movement in all of the material is consistent with very fast, and sudden, motion like ejecta. And every collision between flows is a fluid convergence. There is not one single over-topping flow. The inescapable conclusion is that contrary to the old literature, all of the pressure driven ignimbrites in the Chihuahuan Desert were in rapid, fluid, motion at the very same time. All of that tuff describes an intricate, almost infinite, dance of violent fluid motions. And all of those turbulent, inter-flowing, motions describe the very same moment.

Either that material is the geologically recent result of the largest super eruption since primates first came down out of the trees. And most of central Mexico is one giant, explosive, caldera that no one ever noticed as such. And all of the missing vents will be found… someday. (And never mind that the simultaneous, inter-flowing, rivers of melted stone describe a sudden, virtually instantaneous, event.) Or all of the melt is the result of the most violent ET encounter in 65 million years. And it, and its ground effects, are different from anything ever studied before.

Both are pretty extraordinary possibilities. The visual evidence is more supportive of the latter. But no matter what the source of the heat, and pressure; the more than 40,000 sq km of pristine, simultaneous, random-colliding-inter flowing, rivers of blast-generated ignimbrites, at the pinnacle of the stratigraphic column describes a geologically recent explosive event that was arguably the single most violent natural disaster in all of human existence. Yet, with the exception of a few prospectors looking for money rocks, it’s almost completely unstudied.

Our impactors appear to have been a large, highly fragmented, and loosely grouped, something, about 500 km wide, like a giant, flying gravel pile. Except that much of the material was highly explosive in its own right. (E.M.Drobyshevski) The thing would have looked like a sister to the images of the fragmented comet Linear. It came in at very high velocity, and low angle of approach from the southeast. And almost all of the fragments exploded above ground like Tunguska. Except that, in Mexico, only the very first of the fragments on the leading edge fell into cold atmosphere. The rest fell into already super heated impact plasma, and just added to the heat. The primary impact zone is a 500 by 1500 km oval that covers most of north central Mexico. And extends well up into west Texas, and New Mexico.

In New Mexico at the northern edge of the primary impact zone there are crater fields with too many craters to count about the size of a football field. They are on the other side of the state from any ordinance testing. And they are described in the maps, and literature simply as “enigmatic depressions”…. Let’s see, perfectly round, punched into the surface from above, yep! pretty darned enigmatic to me. But only if you don’t believe in giant, geologically significant, multiple fragment, thermal impact events.

I’ve also cataloged more than 700 non-standard impact structures that are more consistent with the hot, and powerful, surface detonation of a shaped thermal explosive charge than anything from we thought we knew about impact events, or possible compositions of bolides.

Depending on the strength of the surface, and the size of the detonation. The blast burns grade from a deep, thermal burn. To a full fledged crater. And they are square. That’s right, I said square. with a capital “S” square. No two are exactly alike. And the ones that only show a thermal blast burn without excavating a crater make it clear that the square shape is a product of the detonation burn pattern. Not the result of patterned fracturing in the surface rock.

Here are links to the image set of square blast burns, and craters, in roughly 100 image, gallery segments. As well as a few ordinary round ones. They are in no particular order, as they were saved pretty much in the order they were found. There may even be a duplicate here, and there. And this is by no means a complete inventory of them.

1 to 100, 101 to 200, 201 to 300, 301 to 400, 401 to 500, 501 to 600, 601 to 700 and Crater Field (These last two galleries are a work in progress)

I’m still hoping for a seasoned physicist to weigh in on them. So share them around as you see fit.

As far as I can determine, there is no standard theory that can account for the square detonation shock patterns most of the images describe. They are a wonderful conundrum. Although, they can be plausibly explained by recent work into the Tunguska phenomena by E.M. Drobyshevski.


You can read about Dennis’ ideas in more specificity by CLICKING HERE.

14 Responses to A Different Kind of Catastrophe

  1. I am trying to get my mind around this excellent article.
    Now, returning to the august velikovsky, and also the work of Alan and Delain, ‘cataclysm’, It is mentioned that one of the effects of the passage of Phaeton, was the huge and I mean huge electric discharges, from the comet to the earth. This is mentioned explicitly in the records from that time. huge serpents dancing in the skies is the term used I believe. now, referring to the article above and assuming I don’t misunderstand what is being aid, is it not possible that these plasma discharges, melting and vaporising the earth would be the cause of the Ignumbrites? I assume if such electric discharges happens the earth and its material would vaporise and the globules of molten matter would have some electric charge of its own, until the energy dissipated. Thus they would dance all over the place until the electric energy in them, becomes diffused, —like
    water globules on a hot plate???

  2. forgive my additional comment but, is there not a possibility, that the comets are first not always fragmented, next they are not dirty snowballs, following Jim Maccanies work, and no doubt others. Then assuming comets are electrically charged bodies, and if they enter too close to the earths gravity well, and are pulled inwards, may we assume the plasma field in the comet will discharge into the earth, and could this not be cause for comets exploding such as Tunguska? That the huge discharge of energy from comet to earth may explosively disrupt the
    comet, before or after impact?
    comet comet

  3. I would just like to ask, have you read of Professor Jim Maccanies research and his hyothesis that comets and indeed all solar bodies are plasma /electric bodies, interacting with the magnetosphere of our own planet and the sun?
    I am studying your article and it is very interesting reading. But assuming comets are plasma bodies with intense electric-magnetic fields which I believe is true, and assuming the solar system is a charged plasma which makes sense to me, how would this affect your ideas on fragmented comets and such.
    I am studying this subject, with interest in planet X and velikovsky. I do believe the whole field is anything but homogeneous and over the past millenia let alone millions of years all sorts of disparate events must have fashioned the world we live on. The universe is a very turbulent place.

  4. Ok, let’s turn it up a notch.

    The fact that the Younger Dryas cooling was caused by the impact of a giant, fragmented, comet, (probably the Taurid progenitor) and that it was a mass extinction level, multiple airburst, thermal atmospheric, geo-ablative, impact event that sculpted whole mountain ranges like wax under a blowtorch, can be proven conclusively.

    The proof is in hand in the form of non-volcanogenic, ignimbrite.(literally, ‘fire cloud rock’) The pristine thermal glaze on the outer surface is in perfect condition. And the glaze is as magnetic as any meteorite.

    The source location for the samples has all of the rock forms you would only expect to find in an impact crater. I.e. impact melt, mega-breccias, etc. But it isn’t shaped like a hole in the ground. And it isn’t a crater. It is an ablated mountain. And the samples consist of geo-ablative blast melt.

    I’ll be happy to provide samples of some of the damnedest impact breccia/melt you’ve ever seen to any interested scientists.
    See, http://craterhunter.wordpress.com/the-planetary-scaring-of-the-younger-dryas-impact-event/california-melt/ for more info.

    ~Dennis Cox

  5. This event broke all of the rules. Depending on the strength of the surface,the square craters can be found as anything from just a wierd square shaped blast burn to something that excavated a crater. So their shape isn’t a product of erosion. It has to do with the composition of the impactor. And its process of detonation.

    In the past, all of our knowledge regarding impact research was based on the assumption that the bolide is going to be a solid rock, or a chunk of nickel iron, or ices of varying chemistry. And untill E.M Drobyshevski’s work.(Tunguska, and similar events in light of the New Explosive Cosmogony of minor bodies) no one has considered that those ices could could themselves be as unstable, and reactive, as poorly made hydrogen peroxide rocket fuel.

    The old way of imagining the impact of a comet was to think of it as a single chunk hitting like an asteroid. But we have many recent studies of short period comets that show us how unstable they are. And we now know that we can expect them to be already fragmented into a cloud of pieces ranging from the size of a sand grain to the size of an apartment building. Don’t think bullet. Think shotgun blast.

    When such a cloud of fragments hits, the ground doesn’t get pounded, and beaten, into a crater, or craters. It’s much nastier than that. Almost all of the material detonates above ground. Resultant wind speeds are well beyond huricane force, and gusting to supersonic. And the heat of those gusts is hotter than the surface of the sun. The ground gets melted, and blown away like butter from a blowtorch. And the resulting melt gets whipped like the froth on a stormy beach. (Images clickable)
    scatter field 1scatter field 1

  6. Thanx James for the comment! Do I know Velikovsky???? Click on the “about” tab and read my story! I don’t think I’d be writing any of this, if I hadn’t picked up “Worlds in Collision”. Thank you for reading!

  7. Hi,

    Enjoyed the read, I am wondering if you, Dennis, or Gary, have read any of the work by Immanuel Velikovsky, several books published on Catastrophism and myths in various cultures. When Velikovsky wrote up his research the scientific fraternity came down on him like a ton of bricks, and tried to stop his books being published. Now his research is being validated, check it out.

    Regards James, down under in the Land of Oz!

  8. It seems to me that the initial angle of impact would determine the crater shape, either circular or oblong. The greater the angle, the more oblong the crater. Over time, erosion/degradation from wind and rain would “even out” the edges, and the oblong craters would become more square in shape. The sharper the square, the older the event.

    Just my two cents…

  9. I considered the CME possibiltity. But if you zoom in on Lincoln County, New Mexico you will find way too many normal round impact craters to count, averaging about the size of a football field. You will also find they are curiously absent from the literature.

    The overall ground effects are more consistent with some rocky fragments thrown in with mostly explosive electrolized ices.

    But you are right to think of electricity

    If you consider that the impact plasma downblast of a Tunguska class object is hotter than the surface of the sun, you have to also realize that at those kinds of temps the electrons, and protons, are stripped from the nuclei. So the impact plasma quite literally becomes a superconductor. And in a large, multiple fragment event, you can expect the full range of high energy, electric plasma phenomena. The heat transfer is electrical. Where the electricity goes, so goes the heat. The plasma was hot enough to produce its own entense magnetic fields, and self organize into structures. And if viewed from a safe distance in space it would have looked like a thing alive. For a minute, or so, the supersonic, post impact, firestorm that went downrange to the northwest was a full blown, megneto-hydrodynamic, thermal plasma, storm like we should only see on the surface of the sun.

    The real event makes the scaryest hollywood disaster movie of hell on Earth look like a childrens bedtime story.

    ~Dennis

  10. Brilliant!

    Consider that there is no real difference in effect if a CME managed to break through the ionosphere and slap the earth. All of the effects would be the same, except that the mass involved is more enormous, diffuse and is electrically active.

    Even if there was substantial material of elements greater than Hydrogen, in proton form, and helium, there would be substantial electrical defence from the earth, leading to vast thunderbolts leaving circular forms on the earths surface, even if the incoming was inclined as it would be, somewhere along the zone of impact. The temperatures, pressure etc would likely form new elements, the likliest explanation for the iridium dust found. Some of these ideas are founf in Electric and Fractal Universe theory

  11. I found this to be interesting and very informative. It’s nothing that I read or heard of before. Congratulations on your research. You may be right.

  12. I should point out that many of the square craters have been modified somewhat. That’s all cattle country. And persistant drought is the rule of life there. So any of them that could be modified to hold just a little more water have been. But the ones on high, and dry ground that clearly show the square shaped, thermal detonation, pattern give validity to the others. They should be viewed as a set.

    Turn on your pattern recognition skills. And look for the “family resemblance” they all share.

    ~Dennis

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