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Did a comet hit Earth the last time the Mayan calendar ended?

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What happened the last time the Mayan calendar ended? According to Mayan myths, the current creation was the result of a great flood that destroyed the previous creation. The description of this event in Mayan historical chronicles sounds like an eyewitness account of an oceanic impact of a comet or comet fragments followed by a mega-tsunami that devastated coastal civilizations. Luckily the Maya even recorded the date this event occurred on and it matches with physical evidence in the ice core record, tsunami record, and climate record that a catastrophe did befall Earth precisely when the Maya said it did.

Palenque, Temple XIX, detail of Platform text, C5-H1. The passage describes the seating of GI under the auspices of Yax Naaj Itzamnaaj as well as the decapitation of the Starry Deer Crocodile among other events (drawing by David S. Stuart)

Here’s what we know. There is an inscription in Temple XIX at Palenque. Mayan scholars have translated this inscription. These scholars have noted that the inscription includes a flood myth. They have translated the date in this inscription and concluded that it corresponds to the modern Gregorian calendar date of March 10, 3309 BC. The inscription notes that the flood occurred 11 years after this date (thus ~3298 BC). For ease of discussion I will refer to this as the 3300 BC event. (For a scholarly discussion of this flood myth read, “The Mayan Flood Myth and the Decapitation of the Cosmic Caiman.“)

This date is 184 years before the current Mayan calendar start date of August 11, 3114 BC thus it happened near the end of the last Mayan calendar cycle. (But, it should be noted, not on the very last day of that cycle.) There are other Mayan accounts of this flood that started their current creation. These accounts are recorded in their historical chronicles called the Chilam Balam. In the Chilam Balam of Chumayel, in a section entitled “THE CREATION OF THE WORLD,” the account of this flood is as follows:

“Then it was that fire descended, then the rope descended, then rocks and trees descended. Then came the beating of <things> with wood and stone…After that the fatherless ones, the miserable ones, and those without husbands were all pierced through; they were alive though they had no hearts. Then they were buried in the sands, in the sea. There would be a sudden rush of water…Then the sky would fall, it would fall down upon the earth, when the four gods, the four Bacabs, were set up, who brought about the destruction of the world.”

Another account of this event from the Chilam Balam of Mani states:

“…the days and night that fell without order, and pain was felt throughout the land….[Ah Mesencab] turned the sky and the Peten upside down, and…there was a great cataclysm, and the ages ended with a flood….fire, stones, and clubs came down…After that the evil sons and daughters were buried, although alive [they had no hearts], and those who were on the beach were buried between the waves of the sea….an avalanche of water came and…everything came to an end. It was said that four gods, four Bacabs, were the ones who destroyed the earth.”

Both of the above accounts are consistent with an interpretation that they represented eyewitness accounts of an oceanic impact and its aftermath. The order of events is identical to what one would expect in an impact event. First, fire would descend from the sky as the meteor sped through the atmosphere ablaze. Upon impact it would eject enormous amounts of debris that would rain down upon the earth followed by massive tsunamis with wave heights hundreds if not thousands of feet high.

Since both accounts blame Mayan gods named Bacabs for this event the first question is, who were the Bacabs? In the Chilam Balam of Tizimin it states, “The four Bacabs slide to earth on the back of a green rainbow. One by one the stars fall.” Thus it seems likely the Bacabs were green fireballs which is consistent with the impact hypothesis.

The hypothesis

Thus from the evidence recorded in Mayan mythology a hypothesis can be proposed that the Mayan flood myth represented an oceanic impact event followed by a mega-tsunami, i.e., “avalanche of water.” The next step is to see if there is any evidence of mega-tsunami in the sedimentary record dated to around 3300 BC.

Researcher Edward Bryant noted in his book Tsunami: The Underrated Hazard that he found evidence near Australia of “six separate tsunami events…over the past 8,000 years, with peaks at 7500 B.C., 5000 B.C., 3300 B.C., 500-2000 B.C., A.D. 500, and A.D. 1500.” Researcher Mike Baillie noted that of the “’six separate [Australian] tsunami events that can be recognized over the last 8000 years’…two dates stand out, namely 5250 cal. Yr BP (3300 BC) and 1450 cal. Yr BP (AD 500)” because these same dates can be found over and over again in publications devoted to tsunami research. Furthermore, in the North Atlantic Bryant found “additional evidence for at least seven major tsunami…[that] occurred in 60 BC, 218-216 BC, 1763 BC, 1862 BC, 2153 BC, 3309 BC, and 4000-5000 BC.” He also found tsunami events in the British Isles in “AD 500, 3250-3150 BC, and 3300 BC.” Thus there is evidence in multiple locations around the globe that tsunami events occurred around 3300 BC.

It has been theorized that major impact events are also associated with severe climate downturns, most notably in the book The Cosmic Winter by astronomers Bill Napier and Victor Clube. Thus if these tsunamis were impact-induced there should be a record of a significant climate downturn at the same time. In fact, there is. In 2002 Dr. Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State was working on a glacier in Peru when he found a “wetland plant that had been remarkably preserved under the ice. Later testing yielded viable DNA from the plant and dated it back 5,200 years ago (3200 BC).” He noted that “this…soft-bodied plant…had to be captured by a very large snowfall at the time, a snowfall and climate change that began very abruptly fast enough to capture a plant but not kill it. That is astounding.” (Read full article.) Taking into account a margin of error of 100 years this climate event could very well have occurred around 3300 BC.

Researcher Mike Baillie in his paper, “The case for significant numbers of extraterrestrial impacts through the late Holocene,” reports on numerous other anomalous events that occurred during this time period that are consistent with an impact event:

“If we turn to unexplained tsunamis in the Atlantic, Ruiz, et al. (2005) tell us that in southern Iberia at least 20 tsunamis have been registered in the last 7000 years. They draw attention to a high-energy, tsunami event in the 5400–5200cal.yr BP (3450–3250 BC) range. In this context, it seems worth mentioning an anomalous silt layer observed by Caseldine, et al. (2005) in peats on Achill Island in the extreme west of Ireland which is dated to 5200–5100cal.yr BP(3250–3150 BC). In addition Baillie and Brown (2002) have drawn attention to an extreme tree-growth downturn at 3200BC (5150cal.yr BP) in Irish and other tree-ring chronologies which coincides with a series of effects from Switzerland to England to Greenland all suggestive of changes in the Atlantic regime. This is well exemplified by an observation by Zielinski et al. (1994) of an exceptional sulphate event across 5150–5100cal.yr BP in the GISP2 ice core which they associated with the deposition of marine biogenic sulphate associated with open water in the permanent sea-ice off theGreenland coast. It seems reasonable to wonder whether all of these effects are related in some way and whether they might be explained by a cluster of impacts from space. Archaeologically 5150cal.yr BP marks the transition from the early to the later Neolithic in the British Isles with a range of changes in site type, suggestive of human response to whatever was going on environmentally.”

Thus multiple lines of evidence support the idea that multiple oceanic impact events occurred around 3300 BC which supports my hypothesis that the Mayan flood myth recorded in Temple XIX at Palenque and in the books of Chilam Balam was a record of these events.

For a more in-depth discussion of the Temple XIX inscriptions, the Mayan flood myth and various other myths around the world which also record this event read my book Mayan Calendar Prophecies: Predictions for 2012-2052.



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Gary C. Daniels is the creator of which features his original research into the Mayan civilization, their mythology, astronomy, prophecies and beliefs. He is also the author of the Amazon #1 best seller "Mayan Calendar Prophecies: Predictions for 2012-2052" and appeared in History Channel's "American Maya Secrets," the highest rated show ever for the H2 network. Visit his other websites and both of which are focused on the native people of North and South America.

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