2012 Educational Seminar and Gathering

24 07 2008

A seminar is being held insight of the upcoming 2012 doomsday date.  One can consider it a educational seminar and training event which allows one to be enlightened about the upcoming doomsday in 2012.  For $325, one can attend this THREE day event in Sedona, Arizona and be educated about 2012.  The event is being held on September 20-22 so there is still time to reserve your spot.  Here is a quick summary of the event from their website and itinerary for the three days.

Taken from StarPriestess.com

We each carry the codes of mastery, the universal power of creation, within us. These codes are awakening now, at the Turning of the Ages, the time of the Great Changes on Earth. Open to the well of infinite wisdom, deep peace and cosmic consciousness at the core of your being with a special weekend intensive this fall in Sedona, Arizona. We’ll explore the significance of the times we live in and offer guidance for navigating the Shift in grace. Join us for wisdom teachings, talking circles, group meditation, sacred movement, drumming, communion in nature, transformational practices and a powerful Core Shamanism initiation. This includes practitioner training – you’ll receive instruction so you can share this simple yet profound technique with friends, family and clients. This gift of awareness is expansive, enlightening, yet deeply humbling. It empowers and inspires, delights and surprises.

The cosmic milestone of 2012 is now just four years away. The countdown is on! As encoded in the Mayan calendar and prophesied by spiritual traditions around the world, the transformation of consciousness is accelerating. We live at the dawn of a new world age, a new beginning for humanity and the Earth. During this cusp period between world ages, a quantum evolutionary leap, a new reality of our own creation, is possible. The energies of change and transformation are swirling. What will we create?

In these times, conscious souls are finding each other, reconnecting, awakening divinity, remembering higher truth. With our gatherings, we join together to dream a new reality into being, ways of life centered in Spirit, in harmony with the Earth, ways rooted in ancient wisdom.

What you will experience..

– Expanded understanding of personal and planetary transformation within a cosmic context
– A deeper sense of purpose and presence
– Soul family connections – a lasting network for support and sharing
– Techniques for navigating transitional times, including initiation and training in Core Shamanism
– Clarity about your life path and purpose
– Energy, information and resources to share in your community


– Galactic Alignment 2012
– Quantum Evolution
– Prophecy & Earth Changes
– Sacred Sites, Crop Circles & Earth’s Electromagnetic Grid
– 2012 Activation
– Evening Fire Circle – Drum & Dance under the Stars

Here is the itinerary:

– Astrology of Ascension
– Tools & Techniques for Navigating the Shift
– Core Shamanism
– Walking Between Worlds
– Cultural Revolution
– Creating Community


– Creekside Autumn Equinox Ceremony (conclude by 11 AM local time)

To view the entire article/information, click HERE

Asteroid Toutatis approaches Earth on December 12, 2012

7 07 2008

about 35 miles long, and its moon.
Caption and Image taken from TheAtlantic.com
(Image courtesy of NASA/NSSDC).


Here is an excerpt from my upcoming PUBLICATION regarding the major doomsday theories and counter-doomsday theories.  I will be releasing Publication 2008 very soon.  The excerpt below is a debunking of Asteroid theories set forth by many theorist.  Their theory that particular asteroids are a CLEAR threat to the well-being of the human race contradicts recent data.  Many sites have been reporting on the recent data by the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard, which gives one the idea that the Asteroid Toutatis is going to be close enough to Earth to cause some global catastrophe on December 12, 2012. Even though I would like to believe this and report it as possible doomsday evidence, I remain objective and examined the data myself. According to the data (which can be found here: (Center for Astrophysics at Harvard), on December 12, 2012 the Asteroid Toutatis will be 0.04633 A.U. away from Earth. Oh my! Only 0.04633 AU! (sarcasm) That seems like such a small number so it must be the doomsday the asteroid. These other sites and doomsday theorists really believe you are unintelligent individuals and use that to feed you false information. We do things differently here at DDIG where we know you are capable and intelligent individuals that deserve non-bias factual information. So back to the information at hand… you might be asking yourself what is an AU? 1 A.U. is the average distance between the center of mass of the Earth and the center of mass of the Sun which comes out to be approximately, 92,955,807 miles or 1.496×10^11meters. Now we can use simple dimensional analysis to see actually how far the Asteroid is from the Earth.

0.04633 AU x 92955807 mi = 4,306,642 Mi away from the Earth.
2012 asteroid ….1 AU

So the Asteroid will be 4.3 x 10^6 mi away from the Earth… is that close? Lets put that in perspective by comparing that to Earth-Moon average distance. The Earth-Moon distance is 238,900 miles apart, meaning that the asteroid will be 18X the distance of the Earth to the Moon. In my opinion, thats not close enough to classify it as a Doomsday possibility… its even stretching it to call it a “close encounter”

Here is a LINK to the article which presents the information as if the Asteroid is going to impact (“cross”) the Earth. This is the source of my frustration towards data manipulating authors.

Beyond that point, lets examine other NEO’s (near-Earth objects). Based on the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard, the data suggests that there are at least 3 known NEO’s < 0.001 AU. The objects are identified by WN5, SB45, and Apophis will be in the Earth’s proximity June 2028, October 2037 and April 2027, respectively. WN5 and SB45 have distances around 0.0015 AU which gives them a distance of around 130,000 miles away from Earth. To put that in prospective, thats half the distance between the Earth and the Moon. Apophis has a distance of an 0.0002318 AU which coverts to 21547 miles away from the Earth! 21,547 miles is REALLY REALLY CLOSE. Could this be our Doomsday asteroid? Ill further examine dates in the Bible to make connections between Aprophis and the fire-filled Earth Biblical prophecies.

Posted by: D.Dig
Contact: DDIGtheResearch@gmail.com

Could “Cosmic Clock” reveal future?

1 07 2008

The discovery of a “cosmic clock” in Abeceras de Izcagua of La Palma may lead to findings of future comic events to take place. The “cosmic clock” may possibly predct events that may take place around 2012. According to the article, the “cosmic clock…was instrumental in calculations to mark the equinoxes”.  Further analysis of this “cosmic clock” is needed in order to rule out the possiblity of foresight into future catastrophic events.

Taken from tenerifenews.com


Overcrowded in their lower reaches they might be, but the Canary Islands still possess some solitary mountain wilder-nesses, places little visited thanks to their rugged inaccessibility, and which have hardly changed since they were frequented by the pre-colonial aboriginal islanders.

And traces of their presence are still turning up, often in the form of petroglyphs, enigmatic scratched marks on rocks and boulders which held some special significance about which we can only guess today.

The latest find is, say archaeologists, one of the most exciting. They are calling it a cosmic clock, a description guaranteed to get the imagination of any sci-fi fans racing.
But there are no flashing lights and strange dials. The reality, a piece of stone 44 centimetres high and 34 wide, would certainly disappoint them, but the experts are hailing the Summer Stone as a major discovery.

Found on the rarified heights of Cabeceras de Izcagua in La Palma, at an altitude of 2,140metres, on a site inhabited by the Awaras (as the original inhabitants of that island were called), it is thought that the stone was instrumental in calculations to mark the equinoxes. The stone has symbols of the sun facing north-east scratched upon it.

The system used depended upon the alignment of three piles of stones with a facing mountain, from behind which the spring and autumn equinoctial sun rose – and still does.
Strangely enough that mountain is still associated with sky-watching. The Roque de Los Muchachos is the site of a world famous observatory which houses one of the world’s largest telescopes.

An odd case of back to the future

To view the entire article, click HERE

Posted by: D.DIG

13 Crystal Skulls prophesied to Save us from Doomsday

4 06 2008

According to Mayan prophecies, there are 13 crystal skulls scattered across the earth and once collected, their “power” may save us from December 21, 2012 or any other doomsday event. This prophecy is the inspiration to the new Indiana Jones movie ( 2008 ) and in the movie one can see the references to the Mayan civilization.

Taken from dec212012.blogspot.com

In the Mayans scripture it is said that they sent 12 priests out with twelve of the thirteen skulls to separate them until humanity was ready for them to come together. They know that the ones that have been found were all north so logically they should be looking south for the remaining five. The Hedge’s Skull (Which is the only one the documentary talked about and I wanted to here of all the others) is the main skull that they kept that’s why they found it there. After all, there has even been one found in Spain…

The Mayans predicted a major catastrophe on Dec 21 2012.But they all so predicted of 13 crystal skulls that will be found and save human kind from distinction.This prediction states that these 13 crystal skulls will be found, and brought together when human kind was ready.These crystal skulls do exist, we have found many so far, in South America, Central America, North America, and Even one in Spain.

These crystal skulls are baffling scientist,there are no tool marks, inconclusive on carbon dating, and a mesmerizing feeling in there presence. Our technology today could not make duplicates, so where did these ancient skulls come from and who made them?I have no idea but my fascination with them and Dec 21 2012, I can’t help but wonder what the two together represent. Will we find the remaining number of crystal skulls before Dec 21 2012 and stop the new age that the Mayans predicted or will we find the finding them bring in the new age. Or will we find them after and bring us out of what ever happens on Dec 21 2012?
There are a lot of unanswered questions that I have,but I do believe these two things are related in some way. And the people that believe in the Mayan prophecies start to figure out what the two have in common.

To view the entire article, click HERE

Here is another article I found interesting…

Taken from english.pravda.ru

Ancient tribe of Maya passed on a legend that tells of the 13 crystal sculls able to save the world from a terrible catastrophe.

Once in 1927 a British archeologist Mitchell-Hedges was able to confirm the Mayan legend through his own discovery: when the man was clearing debris from atop a ruined temple at the ancient Mayan city of Lubaantum his daughter found one such skull made out of pure quartz.

Later a few more of these mysterious artifacts came into possession of people in different parts of the world. Places where the human sized ancient crystal skulls have been found are generally various ruins and many are guarded by descendants of indigenous people throughout the world.

The skulls have mystical qualities: they can bring their owners into the state of hypnosis, cause people to hallucinate or have dreams about ancient Indians. Some say they can even make wishes come true.

According to the Crystal Links research a conservator and restorer Frank Dorland studying one of the skulls discovered that it had zygomatic arches acting as light pipes, using principles similar to modern optics, to channel light from the base of the skull to the eye sockets.

The eye sockets in turn were miniature concave lenses that also transferred light from a source below, into the upper cranium. Finally, in the interior of the skull was a ribbon prism and tiny light tunnels, by which objects held beneath the skull could be magnified and brightened. As a result, when placed upon a source of light, the skull acquired glowing eyes and appeared to be on fire.

Yet the origins and the manufacturing of the skulls remain inexplicable. World Mystery Research Center reports that several of ancient skulls have been brought to Hewlett-Packard, located in the San Francisco area. Hewlett- Packard, long known as a manufacturer of printers and computer systems, has one of the most extensive scientific and crystal research laboratories in the world.

The scientist working at HP, who had a chance to work with some of these ancient crystal skulls were hard pressed to explain how a primitive culture could have carved crystal into such precise shapes and especially against the natural axis of the crystal without the use of sophisticated tools!

Thus far, four types of ancient quartz skulls are known including clear quartz, amethyst (purple), rose quartz (pink) and smoky quartz (from grey to black). It may be that these magic gifts of the ancestors would assist humanity in surviving the doomsday of 2012, as was foretold by the enigmatic Maya civilization.

To view the entire article, click HERE

This is a new topic for me so I will be posting more information as I find out more.

Scientists believe SuperBug will lead to Doomsday

22 05 2008


A strain of bacteria or virus that is resistant to all forms of anti-biotics or anti-viral medication is a strong possibility in the demise of the human civilization. If there is a superbug out there that we can’t kill, eventually it will wipe us out off this planet completely. One true example is the Black Plague, or Black Death that ravished this planet during the 1340s killing approximately 75 million people worldwide. Without the discovery of penicillin, this planet would be far different than it is today.

Taken from World-Science.net

Doc­tors are run­ning out of treat­ments for trau­ma vic­tims and crit­ic­ally ill pa­tients be­cause of in­fec­tions from drug re­sist­ant mi­crobes – even af­ter re­sort­ing to medicines thrown out 20 years ago be­cause of se­vere side ef­fects, sci­en­tists are re­port­ing.

A cluster of the bac­te­ria Aci­ne­to­bac­ter bau­man­ni
(Cour­tesy CDC/ Ja­nice Carr)

“Doc­tors in many coun­tries have gone back to us­ing old an­ti­bi­otics that were aban­doned… be­cause their tox­ic side ef­fects were so fre­quent and so bad,” said Mat­thew Fala­gas of the Alfa In­sti­tute of Bi­o­med­i­cal Sci­ences in Ath­ens, Greece and Tufts Uni­vers­ity School of Med­i­cine in Bos­ton, Mass.

“But su­per­bugs like Acine­to­bac­ter have chal­lenged doc­tors all over the world by now be­com­ing re­sist­ant to these old­er and con­sid­ered more dan­ger­ous med­i­cines.” Fala­gas is set to re­port the find­ings at April 1 at the So­ci­e­ty for Gen­er­al Mi­cro­bi­ol­o­gy’s annual meet­ing this week in Ed­in­burgh.

“Even col­istin,” an an­ti­bi­ot­ic disco­vered 60 years ago, “has re­cently been used as a sal­vage rem­e­dy to treat pa­tients with Acine­to­bac­ter in­fec­tions,” said Fala­gas. “And it was suc­cess­ful for a while, but now it oc­ca­sion­ally fails due to re­cent ex­ten­sive use that has caused the bac­te­ria to be­come re­sist­ant, lead­ing to prob­lem su­per­bugs… re­sist­ant to all avail­a­ble an­ti­bi­otics.”

Re­cent work by Greek re­search­ers has re­vealed Acine­to­bac­ter is more deadly than pre­vi­ously thought, Fala­gas added: it does­n’t just cause se­vere in­fec­tions, it kills un­ex­pectedly high num­bers of pa­tients. Acine­to­bac­ter can cause pneu­mo­nia, skin and wound in­fec­tions and some­times men­in­gi­tis.

The sci­en­tists iden­ti­fied a range of drug re­sist­ant strate­gies be­ing used by the bac­te­ria, in­clud­ing the pro­duc­tion of chem­i­cals which can in­ac­ti­vate the drug treat­ments, cell pumps that can bail out the drug mo­le­cules from in­side bac­te­ri­al cells mak­ing them in­ef­fec­tive, and mu­tat­ing the drug tar­get sites. This makes the drug mo­le­cules miss spe­cif­ic re­gions of the bac­te­ri­al cells that they were aim­ing for.

“There have al­ready been se­vere prob­lems with crit­ic­ally ill pa­tients due to Acine­to­bac­ter bau­man­nii in­fec­tions in var­i­ous coun­tries,” said Fala­gas. “In some cases we have simply run out of treat­ments and we could be fac­ing a pan­dem­ic.”

To view the entire article, click HERE

Posted by: D.Dig
Contact: DDIGtheRESEARCH@gmail.com

2012, a death by FIRE?

19 05 2008


Image credit to RNN.com


Here is a great article regarding the recent environmental changes on Earth as connections to a future doomsday in 2012. The articles goes into such topics as solar storms, earthquakes, and polar shifts. There is also information regarding the Mayan Calender and the Bible. Will we die by fire in 2012?
FIRE 2012 Doomsday Fire Death FIRE 2012 Doomsday Fire Death FIRE 2012 Doomsday

Taken from RNN.com

There has been much talk of late about the supposed doomsday prediction of December 21, 2012 as reflected in the Mayan long calendar. Most of the ancient Mayan codices were burned by Spanish monks in 1521 as works of the devil. A few survived including the so called Dresden Codex. This 74 page codex written on tree bark and apparently from the famous Mayan temple and observatory at Chichen Itza was sent by Cortes to Emperor Charles V in 1519. Somehow it found its way to the Royal Library at the Court of Saxony in Dresden where it was purchased from a private collector by Johann Christian Goetze. While it was damaged by the fire bombing of Dresden during WWII, much has survived.

From this work, which was written between 1200 and 1250 AD, numerous astronomical and calendar data points were found including information on eclipses, the transit of the planet Venus as well as information on the motion of the moon, stars and the sun. It has been determined by research scholars that the Mayan long count calendar ends on which equates to our date of December 21, 2012 at 10AM GMT. On that day it has been surmised the end will come.

According to my research, many have tried to tie this upcoming apocalyptic winter solstice day with a solar shift, solar storms, and a transit of Venus as well as with severe earthquakes. Is there any truth to these allegations? According to some astronomers, on this day our solar system will intersect with the Galactic Equator which only happens every 26,000 years. Since the Mayan calendar began in 3114 BC, they had never experienced anything like this before. The Mayans called this event the Sacred Tree. This alignment with the center of the galaxy also allows for maximum mass and thus maximum gravity.

According to the National Earthquake Information Service of the US Geological Survey, earthquakes have gradually increased from 1 severe quake between 1890 and 1899 to 765 from 2000-2004. Could this be due to our solar systems movement towards this Galactic Equator?

NASA predicts that a terrific solar storm will hit the earth in 2012 which will be 30-50 percent greater than anything before it. I believe that there has been global warming over the past decades but it is related to sunspot activity on the sun not carbon dioxide emissions. The sun has gotten hotter and that has affected the earth. A massive solar blast from the sun in 2012 could burn up the earth as could a collision with an asteroid or a comet.

There has even been talk of a polar shift which could disrupt the functioning of the entire earth and could change the axis of rotation. Such a shift has taken place in our geologic past and could happen again. If it happened on December, 21, 2012, it would truly be a day to remember.

This apocalyptic date of December 21, 2012 is also supposedly found in Hopi myths, the I-Ching, Aztec writings, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Roman Oracles, writing of Seneca Elders, the chief Shaman of the Cherokee Tribe in NC, and even the writings of Nostradamus, The Russian mathematician Sergey Smelyakov of Khartov University taking the constant Phi (1.6180339), the so called Golden Mean or the Fibonacci sequence, and applying it to solar activity and planetary orbits, found that everything seemed to spiral in on itself on December 21, 2012 implying a time implosion or point of bifurcation.

The planet Venus is set to make a transit across the face of the sun on December 21, 2012 which happens very infrequently. It did happen recently, however, on June 8, 2004 which means it will happen again in eight years which is very unusual but predicted by the Mayans.

I cannot tell you for certain that the earth will be consumed by fire in 2012 or that there will be a polar shift or severe earthquakes, but I can tell you with certainty that one day in the not too distant future it will be consumed by fire and experience a polar shift and severe earthquakes. I can say that because the word of God says so and it did beginning over 2700 years ago, long before the Mayans or the Aztecs or the Hopi or the Seneca or the I-Ching or Nostradamus.

Once before because of its sin the earth was destroyed by water in the Great Flood of Noah’s day but the Bible says that the world will be destroyed again, this time by fire.

“The present heavens and earth, by His word, are being reserved for fire, kept for the Day of Judgment and the destruction of ungodly men” (2Peter 3:7).

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat and the earth and its works will be burned up” (2Peter 3:10).

“The sun scorched men with fire” (Revelation 16:8).

“A third of the earth was burned up and a third of the trees were burned up and all the green grass was burned up. A great mountain (asteroid?) burning with fire was thrown into the sea and a third of the sea became blood and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life died and a third of the ships were destroyed. And a great star (comet?) fell from heaven burning like a torch and it fell on a third of the rivers and springs of water (Revelation 8:7-11).

“The inhabitants of the earth are burned and few men are left” (Isaiah 24:6).

“The hills melt and the earth is burned up” (Nahum 1:5).

Once again, many have associated December 21, 2012 with a shift in the poles as well as signs in the sky. What does the Bible tell us about these events?

“The stars will fall from the sky” (Matthew 24:29).

If the earth shifts on its axis and we are thrown around, the stars will appear to fall but it will actually be us that are moving.

“The earth is broken asunder. The earth is split through. The earth is shaken violently. Thee earth reels to and fro like a drunkard and it totters like a shack “(Isaiah 24:19-20).

Once again a shift in the polar axis might tear the earth apart.

“There will be great earthquakes. The sun became black like sackcloth; the moon became like blood.The stars of the sky fell to the earth… The sky split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up.every mountain and island moved out of their place’ (Revelation 6:12-14).

More shaking of the earth.

“There will be great earthquakes and in various places plagues and famines and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. There will be signs in the sun and the moon and stars and upon the earth great dismay among nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves. Men fainting from fear as the powers of heaven will be shaken” (Luke 21:9, 25-26).

Here we see the Bible tell us about signs in the heavens spoken of in relation to December 21, 2012. But what do we do when we see these things happening?

“When you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I say to you that this generation will not pass away until all things take place.But when these things begin to take place straighten up and lift up your heads because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:31,32, 28).

God assures us that:

“Heaven and earth will pass away but My words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).

Some people ask why God takes so long to punish the ungodly:

“The Lord is not slow about His promise as some count slowness but is patient toward you not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2Peter 3:9).

Remember this as the end fast approaches.

To view the entire article, click HERE

5,388 Near-Earth Asteroids exist waiting to erraticate us

18 05 2008


Image taken from theAtlantic.com, Image credit to Stéphane Guisard


According to the article, “The Sky is Falling” in TheAtlantic.com there are 5,388 Near-Earth asteroids and comets known to exist with 741 at least one-kilometer across or more. So whats chilling about this? NASA defines a global calamity asteroid as one one-kilometer across or more. That means we have 741 chances of Doomsday by astrological causes. Many scientist and geologist believe that this is what caused the mass extinction of the dinosaurs and the ice age. So you might be asking yourself, the chances of a collision are pretty low, so lets assume its not going to impact and just flyby, what then? According to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in California, this exact scenario happened almost 13,000 years ago with the passing of two large space rocks. This flyby lead to erratic global climate changes and ultimately the extinction of many plant and animal species.

Earth asteroid impacts have been understated in the media and through our educational system, we need to rethink the idea that we are independent from the harms of the space system and realize that we are part of this system where harm can come beyond Earth. As tornadoes and tsunamis affect us on a micro-global scale, asteroids and comets affect us on a macro-global scale. Most of us think of the our existence as a one system entity where earth is the system and what goes on in the earth are the changes to the system. But we need to break that and start to image our reality as a two system entity where yes, we do have changes on the system on Earth but there is a larger system of the universe that be belong to. Both of these systems work simultaneously together and are dependent; We can’t ignore this system or else we wont be prepared when doomsday comes.

Here is a video by Gregg Easterbrook whom leads an illustrated tour through the
treacherous world of space rocks. Video taken from TheAtlantic.com


Taken from TheAtlantic.com

Breakthrough ideas have a way of seeming obvious in retro­spect, and about a decade ago, a Columbia University geophysicist named Dallas Abbott had a breakthrough idea. She had been pondering the craters left by comets and asteroids that smashed into Earth. Geologists had counted them and concluded that space strikes are rare events and had occurred mainly during the era of primordial mists. But, Abbott realized, this deduction was based on the number of craters found on land—and because 70 percent of Earth’s surface is water, wouldn’t most space objects hit the sea? So she began searching for underwater craters caused by impacts rather than by other forces, such as volcanoes. What she has found is spine-chilling: evidence that several enormous asteroids or comets have slammed into our planet quite recently, in geologic terms. If Abbott is right, then you may be here today, reading this magazine, only because by sheer chance those objects struck the ocean rather than land.

Abbott believes that a space object about 300 meters in diameter hit the Gulf of Carpentaria, north of Australia, in 536 A.D. An object that size, striking at up to 50,000 miles per hour, could release as much energy as 1,000 nuclear bombs. Debris, dust, and gases thrown into the atmosphere by the impact would have blocked sunlight, temporarily cooling the planet—and indeed, contemporaneous accounts describe dim skies, cold summers, and poor harvests in 536 and 537. “A most dread portent took place,” the Byzantine historian Procopius wrote of 536; the sun “gave forth its light without brightness.” Frost reportedly covered China in the summertime. Still, the harm was mitigated by the ocean impact. When a space object strikes land, it kicks up more dust and debris, increasing the global-cooling effect; at the same time, the combination of shock waves and extreme heating at the point of impact generates nitric and nitrous acids, producing rain as corrosive as battery acid. If the Gulf of Carpentaria object were to strike Miami today, most of the city would be leveled, and the atmospheric effects could trigger crop failures around the world.

What’s more, the Gulf of Carpentaria object was a skipping stone compared with an object that Abbott thinks whammed into the Indian Ocean near Madagascar some 4,800 years ago, or about 2,800 B.C. Researchers generally assume that a space object a kilometer or more across would cause significant global harm: widespread destruction, severe acid rain, and dust storms that would darken the world’s skies for decades. The object that hit the Indian Ocean was three to five kilometers across, Abbott believes, and caused a tsunami in the Pacific 600 feet high—many times higher than the 2004 tsunami that struck Southeast Asia. Ancient texts such as Genesis and the Epic of Gilgamesh support her conjecture, describing an unspeakable planetary flood in roughly the same time period. If the Indian Ocean object were to hit the sea now, many of the world’s coastal cities could be flattened. If it were to hit land, much of a continent would be leveled; years of winter and mass starvation would ensue.

Other scientists are making equally unsettling discoveries. Only in the past few decades have astronomers begun to search the nearby skies for objects such as asteroids and comets (for convenience, let’s call them “space rocks”). What they are finding suggests that near-Earth space rocks are more numerous than was once thought, and that their orbits may not be as stable as has been assumed. There is also reason to think that space rocks may not even need to reach Earth’s surface to cause cataclysmic damage. Our solar system appears to be a far more dangerous place than was previously believed.

Beyond the Kuiper Belt may lie the hypothesized Oort Cloud, thought to contain as many as trillions of comets. If the Oort Cloud does exist, the number of extant comets is far greater than was once believed. Some astronomers now think that short-period comets, which swing past the sun frequently, hail from the relatively nearby Kuiper Belt, whereas comets whose return periods are longer originate in the Oort Cloud.

In 1980, only 86 near-Earth asteroids and comets were known to exist. By 1990, the figure had risen to 170; by 2000, it was 921; as of this writing, it is 5,388. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, part of NASA, keeps a running tally at http://www.neo.jpl.nasa.gov/stats. Ten years ago, 244 near-Earth space rocks one kilometer across or more—the size that would cause global calamity—were known to exist; now 741 are. Of the recently discovered nearby space objects, NASA has classified 186 as “impact risks” (details about these rocks are at http://www.neo.jpl.nasa.gov/risk). And because most space-rock searches to date have been low-budget affairs, conducted with equipment designed to look deep into the heavens, not at nearby space, the actual number of impact risks is undoubtedly much higher. Extrapolating from recent discoveries, NASA estimates that there are perhaps 20,000 potentially hazardous asteroids and comets in the general vicinity of Earth.

There’s still more bad news. Earth has experienced several mass extinctions—the dinosaurs died about 65 million years ago, and something killed off some 96 percent of the world’s marine species about 250 million years ago. Scientists have generally assumed that whatever caused those long-ago mass extinctions—comet impacts, extreme volcanic activity—arose from conditions that have changed and no longer pose much threat. It’s a comforting notion—but what about the mass extinction that occurred close to our era?

About 12,000 years ago, many large animals of North America started disappearing—woolly mammoths, saber-toothed cats, mastodons, and others. Some scientists have speculated that Paleo-Indians may have hunted some of the creatures to extinction. A millennia-long mini–Ice Age also may have been a factor. But if that’s the case, what explains the disappearance of the Clovis People, the best-documented Paleo-Indian culture, at about the same time? Their population stretched as far south as Mexico, so the mini–Ice Age probably was not solely responsible for their extinction.

A team of researchers led by Richard Firestone, of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in California, recently announced the discovery of evidence that one or two huge space rocks, each perhaps several kilometers across, exploded high above Canada 12,900 years ago. The detonation, they believe, caused widespread fires and dust clouds, and disrupted climate patterns so severely that it triggered a prolonged period of global cooling. Mammoths and other species might have been killed either by the impact itself or by starvation after their food supply was disrupted. These conclusions, though hotly disputed by other researchers, were based on extensive examinations of soil samples from across the continent; in strata from that era, scientists found widely distributed soot and also magnetic grains of iridium, an element that is rare on Earth but common in space. Iridium is the meteor-hunter’s lodestar: the discovery of iridium dating back 65 million years is what started the geologist Walter Alvarez on his path-breaking theory about the dinosaurs’ demise.

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