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Tale Of (King) Arthur Points To Comet Catastrophe
The Times ^ | 9-9-2000 | Nick Nuttall

Posted on 04/21/2006 4:39:40 PM PDT by blam

TALE OF ARTHUR POINTS TO COMET CATASTROPHE

From The Times, 9 September 2000
http://www.the-times.co.uk

BY NICK NUTTALL

Arthur: myth links him to fire from the sky

THE story of the death of King Arthur and its references to a wasteland may have been inspired by the apocalyptic effects of a giant comet bombarding the Earth in AD540, leading to the Dark Ages, a British scientist said yesterday.

The impacts filled the atmosphere with dust and debris; a long winter began. Crops failed, and there was famine, Dr Mike Baillie of Queen's University, Belfast, told the British Association for the Advancement of Science. There was now overwhelming evidence from studies of tree rings of a catastrophic climate change at that time, he said.

Dr Baillie, who is based at the university's school of archaeology and palaeoecology, said studies of Irish oaks showed that the climate suddenly became inhospitable around AD540. Other researchers had discovered the same narrow rings on trees in places such as Germany, Scandinavia, Siberia, North America and China. "For all these trees to show the same rings at the same time means it must have been a profoundly unpleasant event, a catastrophic environmental downturn, in AD540, which is in or at the beginning of the Dark Ages."

The tightly bound rings are consistent with fierce frosts that would have devastated agriculture and made a malnourished population more vulnerable to the plague of 542, which killed millions. Plague-carrying rats and pests would have been looking for sustenance, thus hastening the spread of the disease.

Dr Baillie said that there were several theories as to the explanation. One was that a vast volcano had erupted and pumped huge amounts of dust into the atmosphere. Yet such a volcano "would have been out of all proportion to ones we see in recent times", he said, adding that the geological records bore no trace of it.

The other theory, he said,was that huge fragments from a giant comet had hit the Earth, causing violent explosions and a dramatic cooling of the planet. "My view is that we had a cometary bombardment - not a full-blown comet, or we would not be here, but parts of a comet."

Dr Baillie said the hypothesis was supported by studies by astronomers and astrophysicists including Mark Bailey, of the Armagh Observatory, Victor Clube, of Oxford University, and Bill Napier, formerly of the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh. They had calculated that there was a strong likelihood that the Earth suffered a cometary bombardment between 400 and 600, based on records of high meteor shower activity. They had linked it with the break-up of the comet Biela.

It was hoped that scientists in Greenland would analyse ice cores for signs of cometary dust. They were soon to carry out chemical analysis for tree rings for similar clues.

Dr Baillie urged historians to examine the records for writings that may record the events. "You can read about the Justinian plague in conventional history books but you cannot read about the cometary bombardment. The trees single out an episode which can be best described as catastrophic, and it isn't there in written history."

There was, however, some support buried in mythological writings and other works. Roger of Wendover had referred in 540 or 541 to a "comet in Gaul so vast that the whole sky seemed on fire. In the same year there dropped real blood from the clouds . . . and a dreadful mortality ensued".

Dr Baillie also cited the death of King Arthur, which is dated to 537, 539 and 542 in various works, as establishing possible links with fire from the sky and destruction. Dr Baillie said that Arthur was linked in old Irish with CuChulainn, the sky god, who in turn was linked with the Celtic bright sky god Lugh variously described as "bright as the setting sun, comes up in the west, and of the mighty blows".

"The Arthurian stories with their Celtic antecedents of bright sky gods and 'wasteland' come with traditional dates for Arthur's death."

Dr Baillie said that the myths hinted strongly at a bombardment as the causes of an environmental downturn.

Copyright 2000, The Times Newspapers Ltd.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 536ad; ad536; arthur; arthurscomet; biela; bielacomet; billnapier; catastrophe; catastrophism; comet; cometbiela; cometbreakup; cuchulainn; darkages; fire; gaul; godsgravesglyphs; greatfire; impact; king; kingarthur; markbailey; middleages; mikebaillie; nicknuttall; points; tale; victorclube
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1 posted on 04/21/2006 4:39:44 PM PDT by blam
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To: SunkenCiv
GGG Ping.

540AD revisited.

2 posted on 04/21/2006 4:40:34 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

bump for later read.


3 posted on 04/21/2006 4:41:38 PM PDT by Aliska
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To: blam

The hit song of 540 was "The knights around the table go round and round."


4 posted on 04/21/2006 4:44:01 PM PDT by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: blam

It's hard to talk about King Arthur because it's hard to seperate the legend from the fact. Apparently, there was a King Arthur in real life.


5 posted on 04/21/2006 4:45:30 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (Bob Taft for Impeachment)
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To: blam

Last I heard, Arthur was fictional. Perhaps he went up to ride the comet's tail.


6 posted on 04/21/2006 4:46:01 PM PDT by mtbopfuyn (I think the border is kind of an artificial barrier - San Antonio councilwoman Patti Radle)
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To: blam
Since "Arthur" is more correctly rendered as "Ad" in the Celtic language current at the time (540 AD or thereabouts), the relationships are much closer to Bouadica than anyone else.

Now, over that, the close approach of a comet would pretty well explain why the death rate in France was much higher than in Italy, Spain or Brittain.

7 posted on 04/21/2006 4:48:59 PM PDT by muawiyah (-)
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To: muawiyah
"Now, over that, the close approach of a comet would pretty well explain why the death rate in France was much higher than in Italy, Spain or Brittain."

Hmmmm. Or else the French couldn't find enough white flags fast enough.

8 posted on 04/21/2006 4:54:10 PM PDT by bcsco ("He who is wedded to the spirit of the age is soon a widower" - Anonymous)
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To: bcsco
This was "before" they were French.

Things change. People move in. German tribes wander about. All sorts of stuff.

9 posted on 04/21/2006 4:56:18 PM PDT by muawiyah (-)
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To: mtbopfuyn
Last I heard, Arthur was fictional. Perhaps he went up to ride the comet's tail.

Arthur.....the original Applewhite?


10 posted on 04/21/2006 4:56:33 PM PDT by edpc
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To: blam

Blam, is there any actual written record to back up what the tree rings seem to indicate?


11 posted on 04/21/2006 4:59:00 PM PDT by Sam Cree (Delicacy, precision, force)
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To: blam
We're Knights of the Round Table
We dance whene'er we're able
We do routines and chorus scenes
With footwork impeccable

We dine well here in Camelot
We eat ham and jam and Spam a lot

We're Knights of the Round Table
Our shows are formidable
But many times we're given rhymes
That are quite unsingable

We're opera-mad in Camelot
We sing from the diaphragm a lo-o-o-o-t

In war we're tough and able
Quite indefatigable
Between our quests, we sequin vests
And impersonate Clark Gable

It's a busy life in Camelot I have to push the pram a lot

12 posted on 04/21/2006 5:00:27 PM PDT by steveo (Father's Against Rude Television. You may already be a member.)
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To: muawiyah
Another twist:

(Prince) Madoc In America

13 posted on 04/21/2006 5:08:33 PM PDT by blam
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To: Sam Cree

i have seen 2 or 3 references to bizarre weather, including the one quoted in the article. Obviously the problem is that there isn't much of anything written from western europe surviving in this time frame, AFAIK. If the contemporary reference quoted in the article is authentic or believed to be authentic, it is certainly a rather chilling description. Not without reason are comets considered an evil omen in ancient culture - the description of a sword or star huge in the sky is something that would have been passed down for millenium in some convoluted form, I would think.

I wonder if the hypothetical comet would have been like the siberian comet 100 yrs ago or an ocean impact (tidal waves, none recorded?). The lack of any crater from such a recent event is notable.

The article leaves open the issue of the greenland cores being drilled and examined for this, but surely some greenland cores dating this far back have already been drilled.


14 posted on 04/21/2006 5:09:38 PM PDT by WoofDog123
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To: Sam Cree

If anyone did, I would suspect it would be the Chinese.


15 posted on 04/21/2006 5:09:39 PM PDT by MarcusTulliusCicero
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To: Sam Cree
"Blam, is there any actual written record to back up what the tree rings seem to indicate?"

I don't understand the question. Ask it another way.

16 posted on 04/21/2006 5:09:52 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

"Dr Baillie said that there were several theories as to the explanation. One was that a vast volcano had erupted and pumped huge amounts of dust into the atmosphere. Yet such a volcano "would have been out of all proportion to ones we see in recent times", he said, adding that the geological records bore no trace of it."

The book Krakatoa by Simon Winchestor does suggest that this event was an eruption of the same volcano. I don't remember all the details but he was pretty convincing. I really recommend the book btw.


17 posted on 04/21/2006 5:11:43 PM PDT by Mercat (It's still Easter!!!)
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To: edpc
I bet Arthur went down with his cojones still attached.
18 posted on 04/21/2006 5:19:52 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (Bob Taft has soiled the family name for the next century.)
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To: buccaneer81

Nice double entendré...


19 posted on 04/21/2006 5:25:57 PM PDT by null and void (America: It's too late to work within the system, but it's too early to start shooting the bastards.)
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To: Sam Cree
Astronomers Unravel A Mystery Of The Dark Ages

Some say the whole thing with Merlin was about the comet.

20 posted on 04/21/2006 5:36:53 PM PDT by blam
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