+ super volcano +
+ greatest disaster +
"In AD 535/536 mankind was hit by one of the greatest natural disasters ever to occur .... It blotted out much of the light and heat of the sun for 18 months and resulted, directly or indirectly in climatic chaos, famine, migration, war and massive political change on virtually every continent".
This is in the opening page of "Catastrophe" by David Keys, 1999, a book that should have been on the best seller lists but very few people know of. The book took four years to write and research, and is extremely well researched. One can only assume that the Powers that Be are happy to keep this knowledge from the public. This article is an attempt to summarize that book and discuss some of the implications.
The contemporary Roman historian Procopius described the mystery climatic disaster: "The sun gave forth its light without brightness like the moon during this whole year."
Sixth century historian and prominent church leader John of Ephesus wrote of 535 AD in his 'Historiae Ecclesiasicae' ('Church Histories'), "There was a sign from the sun, the like of which had never been seen and reported before. The sun became dark and its darkness lasted for 18 months. Each day, it shone for about four hours, and still this light was only a feeble shadow. Everyone declared that the sun would never recover its full light again."
Another 6th Century writer Zacharias of Mytilene wrote, "The sun began to be darkened by day and the moon by night."
A Roman official known as John the Lydian reported that "the sun became dim for nearly the whole year."
In Italy a Senior local civil servant, Cassiodorus Sentaro wrote in 536, "We marvel to see no shadows of ourselves at noon....We have had a spring without mildness and a summer without heat."
According to Keys, this one global disaster directly or indirectly caused the deaths of a huge percentage of the world's population. It indirectly affected the politics on every continent and contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. The 100-year period after it occurred is the heart of history's so-called Dark Ages."
In 536 the Japanese Great King Senka wrote, "Yellow gold and ten thousand strings of cash cannot cure hunger. What avails a thousand boxes of pearls to him who is starving of cold?"
Here is some more evidence from the book that there was a major global disaster in 535 AD.
"In the late 1960s an American tree-ring specialist, Valmore La Marche of the University of Arizona, collected a substantial number of high-altitude bristlecone-pine tree-ring samples from Campito Mountain in California. They showed a reduction in tree-ring width (i.e. tree growth), suggesting climatic deterioration, from 535/536 with a much more serious deterioration in 539. Growth did not then return to normality until the late 550s."
"In the 1980s, another American academic, Louis Scuderi of the University of Boston, collected a large number of foxtail-pine tree-ring samples from California's Sierra Nevada Mountains and these told a similar story, although the foxtail-pine data suggested that the period of climatic deterioration lasted even longer ... almost 40 years".
(Note: He does mention that low-altitude tree-ring evidence from New Mexico and Arizona shows no evidence of climatic problems in the years following 535).
"In Yucatan (south-east Mexico) ... painstaking analysis of lake deposits over recent years has revealed evidence of a severe multi-decade (20 to 50 years) drought which seems to have started in the mid sixth century.... The research carried out by scientists from the University of Florida and published in 1996 revealed that the sixth century drought was the first such event for almost 1,000 years and was not repeated for another three centuries."
"Tree-ring evidence from Scandinavia and western Europe also reveals a huge reduction in tree growth in the years 536-542, not recovering fully until the 550s."
"Tree-ring evidence from the British Isles shows that tree growth slowed down significantly in 535-536 and did not fully recover until 555".
"In South America, tree-ring data obtained from ancient Fitzroya conifer timbers have revealed that a dramatic cooling of temperature took place in AD 540... 540 was the coldest summer for the past 1,600 years."
"Continuous tree-ring chronologies, going back to the 6th century AD and beyond, exist for Finland, Sweden, the British Isles, central Europe, the Aegean, Siberia, North America, Chile, Argentina and Tasmania. In a substantial percentage ... the period 535 - 550 stands out as a time of unusually low tree-ring growth. In several key chronologies, that 25-35 year period contains many of the narrowest ring sequences known for the past 2,000 years.... From 538 or, in many places, 540, there was an almost universal massive decline lasting between two and eight years...This was particularly marked in the Southern Hemisphere."
(This next study is especially interesting because it suggests that the US government has been aware of the 535 disaster for some time and were prepared to spend a lot of money to study it): "Back in 1983 a team of US scientists from Ohio State University's Institute of Polar Studies climbed onto Peru's 18,711-foot-high Quelccaya Glacier and succeeded in extracting two roughly 530-foot-long, 3.25" diameter ice-cores... Refrigeration equipment could not be flown in... (The ice-cores) had to be broken up into 6,000 2" long samples, each of which was packed in its own individual container and allowed to melt.
The Ohio team then had to carry the 6,000 samples down from the glacier using mountaineering ropes and crampons... The material finally arrived in Ohio...The analysis revealed several episodes of dust storms, almost certainly caused by drought. By far the most intense and long-lasting episode, and the one that started most abruptly, was a period of drought which appears to have struck in the mid sixth century and to have lasted around 30 years."
"In Columbia...an analysis by Columbian archaeologists Clemencia Plazas and Anna Falcheti revealed that the mid to late sixth century was the driest period in ... 3,300 years. From 100 BC to AD 1,000 the climate was almost uniformly wet - except for the mid to late sixth century."
"A recent total reassessment of the evidence has now led archaeologists to redate the collapse of the great Mexican city of Teotihuacan to the Sixth Century A.D....An American anthropologist, Rebecca Storey of the University of Houston, has analyzed data from more than 150 skeletons ... Her findings reveal that in the years prior to the collapse, 68.3% of the working class population were dying before the age of 25, compared to 38.6% in more normal times."
He argues persuasively that it was this climatic disaster that indirectly caused the many plagues at that time, including the 'Great Death'. Normally mice in wild areas in East Africa carry fleas which carry the plague harmlessly among wild animals. Keys believes that unnatural weather following the 535 incident, especially an excessive drought followed by excessive-rainfall, caused the spread of these rodents to other areas. Eventually the rodents met and passed the flea onto the black rat which normally did not have plague. The black rat in turn passed it onto humans. The plague reached Egypt in 1941. Trade in ivory by ships from Egypt to Europe carried the plague with it, killing whole cities. Up to 1/3 of the Roman Empire died horribly in the first massive outbreak of plague. People would get a sore on their body and be dead within 2 or 3 days. More died in subsequent outbreaks. Extrapolating from death rates of the much better recorded plague in the 14th Century, in Britain possibly somewhere between 60% and 90% died of plague, both peasants and members of the elite.
The 535 event was associated with some kind of dust / chemical pollution. In 541 the 13th Century British historian Roger of Wendover wrote, "There dropped real blood from the clouds, and a dreadful mortality ensued."
"In China in 536 there was drought and famine and "yellow dust rained like snow... The crops were ruined the following year by snow in August.""
"Starting in the 530s, a horrific 32-year long drought devastated parts of South America."
The global catastrophe caused drought and flooding. Climactic extremes continued for roughly 30 years after the event.
"An analysis of British weather between 480 and 650 confirms that the period 535-555 was abnormally unstable."
What caused the global cataclysm?
Keys says that the disaster must have been caused by an asteroid impact of about 2.5 miles wide, a comet impact or a volcanic eruption. He gives a number of reasons why it was not an asteroid or comet. For example, the last time we got hit by a cosmic object of this size was 52 million years ago. Comets are also very rare. Both would have created at least a 25 mile wide crater or have produced such a tidal wave that would have rivaled Noah's flood. We do not know of either of these things happening so recently. Most importantly, neither would have produced enough dust to have darkened the sun for so long.
The most likely culprit is a super volcano, because in order to dim the sun, tons and tons of dust had to be thrown into the sky. A super volcano can do this by forcing huge quantities of sulphur into the stratosphere, which become sulphuric-acid aerosols, capable of staying aloft and directly changing the weather for several years.
Here is more evidence that the Powers That Be know all about this and how important it is:
"In 1978, a joint Danish/Swiss/US Scientific team landed on the south-Greenland ice cap in several large freight aircraft specially fitted with giant skis. The planes - US military C130 Hercules - carried massive quantities of equipment, including generators, refrigeration units, prefabricated living quarters - and a huge drill.
This later piece of hardware was used to extract - in 6.5 foot lengths - some 1.25 miles of ice-core! In temperatures of between around 14 degrees Fahrenheit and minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit, engineers and scientist from Copenhagen University worked in three shifts, 24 hours a day, drilling deeper and deeper into the ice cap at roughly 400 feet per week.
Then, early in the second year of the operation ... the team extracted some lengths of core covering the second quarter of the sixth century AD. ... Chemical analysis of this ... ice revealed that there had been two substantial volcanic eruptions. These same eruptions were then detected in a second core drilled in summer 1990 in central Greenland.
... The dating of ice-cores is at that time depth is only roughly accurate.... For eruption (number) one the core gave an apparent date of 527... while the (other) core ... yielded an apparent date of 530.
The volcanic explosion must have been very substantial, as evidence ... shows that acid-rich snow was falling at the (first) site... in Greenland for more than two years and at the (other) site for at least a year.
The final clinching evidence, however, comes from 10,000 miles to the south - from deep inside the Antarctic ice cap. ... Scientists, again using ice-cores, discovered evidence of a truly massive volcanic eruption. The ice-core material revealed that acid snow had cascaded down on the Antarctic for at least four years running....(This) occurred sometime between 490 and 540."
It is very possible that both Greenland and Antarctica events were the same event.
So, then the next question is, which volcano was the culprit?
After putting a lot of different facts together, Keys pinpoints the culprit as "Krakatoa, the notorious island mountain which brought death and destruction to Java and Sumatra in the 1880s. Could a former bigger eruption of Krakatoa have been responsible for the catastrophe that tormented the world in the mid sixth century AD?...
Buried deep in a little-known and normally ignored Indonesian chronicle is an extraordinary passage ... describing a huge volcanic event in the Sunda Straits area... where Krakatoa is located...The earliest surviving manuscript of this chronicle dates form 1869...
"There was a furious shaking of the earth, total darkness, thunder and lightning... Then came a furious gale together with torrential rain and a deadly storm darkened the entire world."
The chronicle - known as the "Pustaka Raja Purwa ('The book of Ancient Kings') ... claims that the eruption was so massive that .... "After the water subsided the mountain (which had burst into pieces) and the surrounding land became sea and the (single) island (of Java/Sumatra) divided into two parts. This (event) was the origin of the separation of Sumatra and Java." "
"One key piece of evidence (that this is a true record) is that volcanologists who have read the eruption account in the 1869 manuscript of "The book Of Ancient Kings" say that it is a very good description of the type which almost certainly did occur in the Sunda Straits.... They believe that neither western scientists nor Javanese scholars in the 1850s or 1860s would have had the geological data to reconstruct the probable sequence of events and geography."
The rest of this article is available to be copied at http://www.metatech.org/A06/world_catastrophe_climate.html
Copyright © Michael Relfe 2006
Permission is granted to copy and distribute this article or parts of this article, so long as you link to www.metatech.org or www.relfe.com
by Michael Relfe
Michael Relfe holds a degree in Computer Science and is a graduate of United States Naval Nuclear Power School. His 25 year career as a software engineer gives him a unique perspective in technical and scientific research. He is the Producer and Director of "Interview with an Ex-Vampire: A True Story" (Cannes 2006) at www.ExVampire.com.