From Chapter 1: A Whirlwind Trip
One evening, my mind still racing from all I had seen on Easter Island--and perplexed at the genuine enigmas and disgusted by the conventional explanations (or should I say nonexplanations)--Katie suggested that we rewatch a video titled Symbols of an Alien Sky (Talbott 2009; see also Talbott and Thornhill 2005). One portion of the video discusses the work of Anthony L. Peratt, a plasma physicist associated with Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, who became interested in ancient petroglyphs (Peratt 2003). I already knew of Peratt’s work and indeed had met him at a conference many years earlier. In a nutshell (we will review his work in more detail later in this book), Peratt noticed that many petroglyphs found around the world appear to record the shapes that would have been seen in the sky if there had been a major solar outburst--a plasma discharge (ionized particles and associated electrical and magnetic phenomena)--in ancient times. If our Sun discharged a huge ball of plasma toward us, it would have dire consequences for Earth, including life and humanity, as the surface of the planet would be literally fried by the incoming electrical currents. Nothing like this has been seen in modern times, although small plasma discharges, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), are a regular feature of the modern Sun. However, as a geologist, I was aware that going back in time, the Sun has had periods of much higher activity, including at the end of the last ice age (circa 9700 BCE). Peratt and his colleagues postulated a major solar outburst in ancient times, but they did not specify a precise date or dates. They had also not considered one other very important thing.
Katie’s simple but profound observation, while we watched the documentary, was that the rongorongo glyphs look remarkably similar to the petroglyphs that Peratt believes record plasma discharges and configurations, due to a major solar outburst, seen in the ancient skies. Could the rongorongo be a text, a scientific text if you will, that records in meticulous detail what was happening in the skies of long ago? Were the Easter Islanders in fact the keepers of an ancient, long forgotten, knowledge?
I was struck, as if by plasma itself. Many isolated threads, topics I had pursued for years and decades, suddenly began to fall into place. My work on redating the Great Sphinx of Egypt (discussed in chapter 2) indicates that civilization and sophisticated culture date back thousands of years earlier than mainstream archaeologists have generally accepted. The same story seems to hold true for the oldest Easter Island moai, which may be thousands of years older than conventionally believed. And within months of visiting Easter Island, Katie and I found ourselves in Turkey inspecting the incredibly sophisticated and also incredibly ancient--dating back twelve thousand years--site of Göbekli Tepe, confirming and reinforcing my work on the remote antiquity of early civilization. But the issue has always been, What could have happened to such an ancient, forgotten civilization? Why is there such a paucity of evidence for it?
Within weeks of our return, spurred by Katie’s discovery, all that I had studied for so long came into sharp focus as the pieces began to fall into place, and a new story of a very ancient and long-forgotten civilization emerged. This is not another tale of lost continents and technologically advanced science-fiction-like beings loosely based on the overinterpretation of a few myths and legends. This is a story that combines the evidence of modern geology, geophysics, climatology, astrophysics, archaeology, comparative mythology, and many other disciplines. As we shall see, the catastrophes that occurred nearly twelve thousand years ago, eradicating this early, forgotten civilization, appear to be on the verge of occurring once again. Furthermore, those very ancient peoples may have known something about the world and the cosmos that has since been lost. But if we can break free from the shackles and blinders of conventional status quo paradigms and worldviews, we may be able to regain this essential knowledge.
In this book, we will explore these and related topics. Our story reaches back into the remote past and continues into the future. We need to understand multiple lines of evidence that together weave a new view of the origins of civilization, ancient history, our future, and the dynamics of the planet we live on. This is truly a grand puzzle with many parts. We will begin with a key piece, the Great Sphinx.
UPDATE: Katie’s discovery that the rongorongo glyphs are very similar to the petroglyphs that Peratt and his group had been studying for years, and that both are ultimately representations of plasma discharges and configurations as would be seen in the sky during a major solar outburst, was confirmed by a member of Peratt’s team in an email sent to us. It turns out that they had independently made this discovery some years earlier but had purposefully not published it.