A. P. Sinnett had written to a master (in letter 23A) a number of questions. Here is question 4:
(4) To what epoch did the existence of the Continent of Atlantis belong, and did the cataclysmical change which produced its extinction come into any appointed place in the evolution of the round, — corresponding to the place occupied in the whole manvantaric evolution by obscurations?
He got back this answer in letter 23b:
"It [science] now teaches, as you know, that Atlantis, or the remnants of it lingered down to post-tertiary times, its final submergence occurring within the palaeozoic ages of American history! Well, truth and fact ought to feel thankful even for such small favours in the previous absence of any, for so many centuries. The deep sea explorations — especially those of the Challenger, have fully confirmed the reports of geology and palaeontology. The great event — the triumph of our “Sons of the Fire Mist,” the inhabitants of “Shamballah” (when yet an island in the Central Asian Sea) over the selfish but not entirely wicked magicians of Poseidonis occurred just 11,446 ago."
As far as I know this is the only instance of an exact year for the sinking of Atlantis given anywhere. If anyone else knows of an exact year asserted or presumed from any source for this event please let me know.
Now we need to translate "11,446 years ago" into an exact year. The letter from the master was written in October of 1882. There are some indications from myths that the event occurred in the spring and other indications that it occurred in the summer. (Some few myths give this indication of a month but none give an indication of a year.) So if we assume it occurred in the 9 to 10 months of the year prior to the writing of the master's letter, and if we note that the year "0" never occurred, then this translates into the year 9,565 BC.
In the Secret Doctrine, HPB has more than once indicated 12,000 years ago. Of course these two dates are compatible with the master's date being more specific.
So, Theosophy has an asserted year for the sinking of Atlantis and that year is 9,565 BC.
Now it happens that the book Cataclysm has calculated a proposed year along with a range for its estimate of the date of the event. It averages together 574 separate carbon fourteen dates to come to a grand average of 11,577 BP. (BP means "before present" and is defined as before January 1, 1950. It is used by scientists to eliminate "Christ" from the dating terminology - even though a "BC" factor entered into the definition of the term.) This translates to 9,628 BC, or only 63 years away from Theosophy's date.
To form their best estimate, the authors of Cataclysm then decide to round their BP date from 11,577 to 11,500 BP and offer a range of plus or minus 50 years. This new estimate of 11,577 BP translates into 9,551 BC. This new date is only 14 years away from Theosophy's date of 9,565 BC. This is astounding!
Let's put it simply. When science has averaged together 574 radiocarbon dates and then picked a slightly yet rounder number for its estimate of this event, it then comes to only 14 years from the date asserted by Theosophy in the year 1888!!
Can we say Theosophy has been confirmed?
And yet a little more. Since Cataclysm gives a range of plus or minus 50 years, Theosophy's date is well within this estimated range from science.
Okay, I'll say it. Theosophy's dating of the sinking of Atlantis has been confirmed. This is an extraordinary match that Theosophists should be aware of. We each need to evaluate the extent to which this vindicates the knowledge of Theosophy about Atlantis. When we consider how strongly science has objected to the reality of Atlantis then it gives all the more significance to this vindication - and all the more weight to the Secret Doctrine.
There is one more detail that is subject to interpretation. Sinnett asked the master about the "cataclysmical extinction" of Atlantis. The master did not reply "Atlantis sunk in year XX." Instead the master said "the great event occurred ...". It appears to me the master knew that much more had occurred than that an island had sunk. It appears to me that he knew a "great event" had occurred. It was more than the extinction of an island. And that would be much more in keeping with this analysis.
I will take as a given that an axial shift of the earth occurred and that it was caused by a celestial intruder. Comets, meteors and asteroids are not big enough.
The size of the object would be on the order of the size of the earth. If it is too small then it doesn't have a big enough effect and it gets "consumed" by the earth. If it is too big then the earth gets "consumed" by it.
Also it should be moving at a very fast velocity. As it races through space it acquires electromagnetic charge. The charge allows the intruder to "couple" with the electromagnetic field of the earth and change its axis. The charge also works to prevent an actual collision of physical bodies. The two objects more bounce off each other in space.
Novae erupt about 40 per year in our galaxy.
However, it should be bigger. It should be a supernovae. Then it can have the magnitude and the necessary velocity to make a difference. The speed is critical. As I remember it, a supernovae chunk can travel at up to one fifth of the speed of light - very very fast. But maybe Shawn can give an more accurate number. Also, maybe Shawn can say more surely, but as I remember it, a supernovae is thousands of times more powerful than a mere novae explosion.
Concerning a supernovae chunk, Cataclysm writes:
"Certainly, on such a lengthy journey through an all-pervading plasma of dissociated ions and electrons, any such high-speed object could be expected to acquire a high electromagnetic potential in addition to any electrical or magnetic field it already possessed. Such an object would be extremely dangerous." (Cataclysm p 209)
Supernovae erupt about 1 every 30 years in our galaxy. In the last 15,000 years some 500 supernovae have erupted in our galaxy. At least 5 have exploded between 17,000 BC and 13,500 BC.
One of these, star G263.9-3.3, exploded unusually close at a distance of 45 light years from the solar system. It is a likely candidate. It is called the Vela supernovae. The date of that explosion is estimated at some 14,300 years or about 11,000 years ago. Both of these dates fall in the "right" time period. If the supernovae chunk traveled at only 1/50 of the speed of light it could reach earth at about the right time. So, following the suggestion of Cataclysm (p209) I will say that a chunk from the Vela supernovae was the culprit.
There is one other piece of evidence that specifically a supernovae chunk has entered the solar system at the time in question.
There is a Kuiper belt outside the orbit of Pluto. It consists of perhaps 1,000 objects in orbit around the sun. Various estimates suggest the biggest of the pieces are 100's of miles in diameter and that collectively their mass is suitable for a planet-sized object. Now there is something highly coincidental.
"The gamma-ray spectrometer on the Third High Energy Astronomical Observatory satelitte (HEO 3) has lately detected a high concentration of cloud of Aluminium-26 (AL) in space, surrounding the solar system. AL is a radioactive isotope with a half-life of about one million years, and, according to theoretical studies, is readily produced in supernova explosions. Ultimately AL decays to Magnesium-26, but as this cloud is apparently still very much Aluminium-26 and not Magnesium-26, its decay is not very far advanced and suggests that the cloud may be as young as a mere 10,000 years." ( Cataclysm p 210).
Cataclysm adopts the name from Greek myth (for good reason) of "Phaeton" to name this intruder. It then says:
"On the basis of the above -mentioned details, we suggest that Phaeton was spawned in an astronomically-near supernova explosion, and that Phaeton was a portion of exploded astral matter. We further suggest that, being of that nature, Phaeton precipitated a second astronomically far smaller explosion on coming into confrontation with the combined gravitational and electromagnetic fields of the huge outer planets of the solar system, and that this produced the Aluminium-26 cloud now known to exist on the edge of the solar system. The above-cited detail that the astronomically-close Vela supernova exploded some time between 14,300 and 11,000 years ago indicates that, allowing for the time taken by Phaeton to traverse interstellar space between the point of its original disruption - 45 light years distant - and the outer confines of the solar system, the planetary derangements under discussion probably took place approximately 11,500 years ago!" p 210.
So Brian, there you have it. The culprit was Phaeton in Greek terms or Vela supernovae in scientific term.
Of course there is more detail to examine concerning exactly what effects this would have on earth. Also, now that we know what happened, things fall into place. Mythology makes sense. We can explore the effect of such an encounter on the crust and how this explains all the details that have been described so far. All of them.
Here is the most important effect. As the Phaeton approached earth it gravitationally pulled the waters of the oceans toward it - like the moon causes tides. But it did this very extremely so. Phaeton was much much bigger than our moon.
That would have been very bad but what happened next was the horror of horrors. After Phaeton reached its closest point to Earth -- it kept on going! That released all the water from the gravitational pull of Phaeton. The standing wave returned !!! Unthinkable. Erratics were hurled a thousand miles. Rock surfaces were polished, striations carved and Till deposited - all from North to North West toward South to South East around the globe. Existing topography did not stand in the way of the "global tsunami". The crust of the earth heaved and buckled, mountains chains around the earth rose up together, continental land masses sank, species extinguisted. Mammoths flash frozen standing up with food in their mouth as they were hurled from a warm to permanently frigid climate. The Carolinas and more, sprayed with exploded debris from the sky. The oceans rolled like puddles into the new topography. Poseidonis sank 2 miles deep. The Pleistocene epoch completed in its entirety in a geological instant rather than 2 million years. The axis of the earth wobbled and restabilized. We were lucky the earth survived. All in about a "day and a night" as Plato phrased it. (How did he know?) Damage that boggles and staggers the mind. And we find yet toda the debris of that broken world around us.
That event was remembered in mythology around the globe. Some myths even refer to the on-coming wall of water! Remembered for 12,000 years!
Also because of the electromagnetic charge, bolts of lightning were exchanged with Earth. This is seen in myth. It is seen in remnants of burned forests. (This paragraph added for Lenny to help decide between two models.)
Yet despite all this and the other troubles not yet documented here -- humanity survived! A few at first. Then more. We are the survivors of that calamity! Now we can learn our history!
But there is a detail concerning how this relates to Theosophy. Theosophy knew about this disaster and preserved in its memory a most important item concerning this event. In my view it warrants all this scientific detail just to get to the next letter.
When the evidence on the ground is coupled with the rapid freezing described in the last letter then it is clear that the evidence shows there has been a shift in the axis of the earth. This has very interesting ramifications.
1. It further defines what we must seek as the physical cause for the disaster. It must be something capable of causing an axis shift.
2. It adds reasonableness to the numerous references to axis shift in the SD. In some cases the exploration of science up to this point adds more than reasonableness - it adds confirmation of the SD.
But suppose we first consider some aspects of an axis shift.
According to traditional theory a shift in the axis is not possible. It would violate the law of Conservation of Angular Momentum. The same law that makes a gyroscope behave like a gyroscope makes the earth retain its angular momentum and acts against a tilt in the axis.
There are 2 quotes of interest here from Cataclysm:
"Almost all authorities are as one, therefore, in concluding that only a powerful external agent could have altered the inclination of the Earth's axis." p 194
"Among the terrestrial effects listed by almost every investigator of a theoretical near-collision has been a shift in the inclination of Earth's axis. Authorities of the calibre of Runcorn and Mulholland have admitted that axial shifts could be expected to occur on such occasions." p 191
The most serious reason for the shift is that the electromagnetic fields involved in the near-colllision would intereact. But I am getting ahead of myself.
From the above we see that science is beginning to approach and contemplate the unthinkable - an axial shift. HPB was right again. Science is approaching the SD.
We do find references to axis shifts in ancient literature and mythology. For example:
"The ancient Egyptian Ipuwer Papyrus, for example, describes terrible devastation created by an early cataclysm which "turned the "Earth upside down"". [ Lange, H.). (transwl). 1903. "papyrus Ipuwer", sber preuss akad wiss, p 610]
The Ermitage Papyrus, now preserved in St. Petersburg, refers to a similar ancient world convulsion. [Gardiner, A H. 1914 "New literary works from Ancient Egypt", J Egypt Archaeol, vol 1, pp100-6]
A third Egyptian papyrus tells how the Earth was nearly destroyed by fire and water during a tremendous celestial upheaval long ago when the south became north and the world turned over. [Lange, H.). (transl). "Der Magiswche Papyrus Harris", K dansk Vidensk Selsk Skr, p 58]
Now the quotes from the SD. All of these have added vindication in varying degrees:
The first quote shows a very striking confirmation that the SD says Poseidonis was destroyed by an axial shift !!
"It is the submersion of the great Atlantis which is the most interesting. It is of this cataclysm that the old records (See the “Book of Enoch”) say that “the ends of the Earth got loose"; and upon which the legends and allegories of Vaivasvata, Xisuthrus, Noah, Deukalion and all the tutti quanti of the Elect saved, have been built. Tradition, taking into no account the difference between sidereal and geological phenomena, calls both indifferently “deluges.” Yet there is a great difference. The cataclysm which destroyed the huge continent of which Australia is the largest relic, was due to a series of subterranean convulsions and the breaking asunder of the ocean floors. That which put an end to its successor—the fourth continent—was brought on by successive disturbances in the axial rotation. It began during the earliest tertiary periods, and, continuing for long ages, carried away successively the last vestige of Atlantis, with the exception, perhaps, of Ceylon and a small portion of what is now Africa. It changed the face of the globe, and no memory of its flourishing continents and isles, of its civilizations and sciences, remained in the annals of history, save in the Sacred records of the East.
Hence, Modern Science denies Atlantis and its existence." (SDii314)
Perhaps sometime I will get around to showing some suggestive evidence that Lemuria was destroyed by fire as indicated below. But not right now.
Thus lost continents are officially suspected. That worlds (also Races) are periodically destroyed by fire (volcanoes and earthquakes) and water, in turn, and renewed, is a doctrine as old as man. Manu, Hermes, the Chaldees, all antiquity believed in this. Twice already has the face of the globe been changed by fire, and twice by water, since man appeared on it. As land needs rest and renovation, new forces, and a change for its soil, so does water. Thence arises a periodical redistribution of land and water, change of climates, etc., all brought on by geological revolution, and ending in a final change in the axis. Astronomers may pooh-pooh the idea of a periodical change in the behaviour of the globe’s axis, and smile at the conversation given in the Book of Enoch between Noah and his “grandfather” Enoch; the allegory is, nevertheless, a geological and an astronomical fact: there is a secular change in the inclination of the earth’s axis, and its appointed time is recorded in one of the great Secret Cycles. As in many other questions, Science is gradually moving toward our way of thinking. (SDii726)
Another interesting connection of axial shift and destruction of Atlantis:
Precisely so; and the Secret Doctrine teaches that that “order of nature” has been thus altered, and the series of the Earth’s humanities too. For, as the angel Uriel tells Enoch: “Behold, I have showed thee all things, O Enoch; and all things have I revealed to thee. Thou seest the Sun, the Moon, and those which conduct the stars in Heaven, which cause all their operations, seasons, and arrivals to return. In the days of sinners THE YEARS SHALL BE SHORTENED. . . . the moon shall change its laws, etc.” (chap. lxxix). In those days also, years before the great Deluge that carried away the Atlanteans and changed the face of the whole earth—because “the earth (on its axis) became inclined”— nature, geologically, astronomically, and cosmically in general, could not have been the same, just because the Earth had inclined. (SDii533-4)
But it [esoteric philosophy] teaches distinctly that after the first geological disturbance in the Earth’s axis which ended in the sweeping down to the bottom of the Seas of the whole second Continent, with its primeval races—of which successive “Earths” or Continents Atlantis was the fourth—there came another disturbance by the axis resuming as rapidly its previous degree of inclination; when the Earth was indeed raised once more out of the Waters, and—as above so it is below; and vice versâ.(SDii369)
Even a section of a stanza refers to the same though this may be a different deluge:
5. THE WHEEL WHIRLED FOR THIRTY CRORES (of years, or 300,000,000*). IT CONSTRUCTED RUPAS (forms). SOFT STONES, THAT HARDENED (minerals); HARD PLANTS, THAT SOFTENED (vegetation). VISIBLE FROM INVISIBLE, INSECTS AND SMALL LIVES (sarisripa, swapada). SHE (the Earth) SHOOK THEM OFF HER BACK, WHENEVER THEY OVERRAN THE MOTHER (a). AFTER THIRTY CRORES OF YEARS, SHE TURNED ROUND. SHE LAID ON HER BACK; ON HER SIDE. . . . SHE WOULD CALL NO SONS OF HEAVEN, SHE WOULD ASK NO SONS OF WISDOM. SHE CREATED FROM HER OWN BOSOM. SHE EVOLVED WATER-MEN TERRIBLE AND BAD (b). (STANZA II 5
(a) This relates to an inclination of the axis—of which there were several—to a consequent deluge and chaos on Earth (having, however, no reference to primeval chaos), in which monsters, half-human, half-animal, were generated. We find it mentioned in the “Book of the Dead,” and also in the Chaldean account of creation, on the Cutha Tablets, however mutilated. (SDii52)
Thus, since Vaivasvata Manu’s Humanity appeared on this Earth, there have already been four such axial disturbances; when the old continents—save the first one—were sucked in by the oceans, other lands appeared, and huge mountain chains arose where there had been none before! The face of the Globe was completely changed each time; the survival of the fittest nations and races was secured through timely help; and the unfit ones—the failures—were disposed of by being swept oft the earth. Such sorting and shifting does not happen between sunset and sunrise, as one may think, but requires several thousands of years before the new house is set in order. (SDii330)
Obviously the reference to several thousands of years must be considered carefully. The erratics and frozen cadavers indicate speed. I presume it is the "sorting and shifting" that takes time.
This quote I have saved for last. When considered in detail, the movements of the Earth today are actually much more complex than we normally know. But this statement of HPB's should keep us on our flexible toes.
According to the old teaching, the axis of the earth gradually changes its inclination to the ecliptic, and at the period referred to, this inclination was such that a polar day lasted during the whole period of the earth’s revolution about the sun, when a kind of twilight of very short duration intervened; after which the polar land resumed its position directly under the solar rays. This may be contrary to astronomy as now taught and understood: but who can say that changes in the motion of the earth, which do not take place now, did not occur millions of years back? (SDii292)
You wrote Someone might know if an impact by a comet or large meteorite might've caused the abrupt transition around 10,000 BC.
This is the reasonable next question. I had to develop the flow of thought to catch up to your question.
Comets first. There are an estimated 100,000 comets moving with the Sun as focus. Some have Jupiter as focus. Most have very long time periods for their orbits (over 100 years).
The size of the comet head can be very large - 20,000 to 200,000 miles. That maximum size makes the comet larger than the Sun. However, the mass of the comet lies in its nucleus. The nucleus varies in size from 1 to 20 miles. Now the big "however", the nucleus is almost all dust. So it has no potential to do this kind of damage.
Meteors next. There are billions of loose meteors flying around the universe. The largest has been up to a mile in diameter.
"The advent of satellite space photography has revealed numerous previously unsuspected land-forms suggestive of impact by very large meteors on various occasions throughout Earth history. These features which have constituted the central theme of at least two full-length books, clearly show that on impacting these meteors perpetrated widespread damage, and that while some are geologically ancient others are surprisingly recent." Cataclysm p 201.
One of those was "The Bombarded Earth" (London) by R. Gallant, pub in 1964. The other was The Mysterious Carolina Bays by H. Savage, published in 1982 in by University Carolina Press. These sound like interesting books. I will say more on the Carolina Bays below.
Asteroids next. Asteroids are in a belt between Mars and Jupiter. There may be up to 80,000 of them. The biggest is 625 miles in diameter. At least eight of them cross earth's orbit. The biggest such is Eros with a diameter of a mere 6 miles. It has come within 14,000,000 miles. That is "close" in astronomical terms.
But even asteroids will not tilt the axis. It is as though a particle of dust fell on your table. It would not knock your table over.
Those Carolina Bays referenced above are interesting. To start with these are not bays and they are not only in the Carolinas.
There are some 500,000 of them on the Atlantic seaboard of the US centered in South Carolina but extending from New Jersey to Florida.
They are oval indentations in the ground. They range in size up to 4 miles in length. 140,000 of them are 500 ft or longer. The interesting item is that all those in a given geographical area are aligned in the same direction. That direction shifts slightly in a systematic way as one moves from one area to another.
Interestingly these "bays" tend to be not noticeable from the ground. It was not until the 1930's with the advent of aerial photography that they came to be recognized. (Although they had been mentioned first in 1847.)
Henry Savage jr, has suggested these features were formed at the "end of the mammoth" age i.e. "end of the pleistocene". It seems highly unlikely that this is a coincidence with window of time we are examining. They are related to our "event".
It appears likely that there are also impacts on the underwater continental shelf where other indentations have formed.
Such bays are found elsewhere - all with the strangely parallel orientations. There are 25,000 in Alaska near Point Barrow up to 9 miles long, more in Harrison Bay area in Alaska, and oddly enough, some in Bolivia up to 12.5 miles long, and some in Netherlands though these are less obvious due to farming over them.
The existence of these remains in the Atlantic off the US has encouraged the Atlantologist Otto Muck (pronounced "mook") to raise an hypothesis. He suggests the similar objects that fell into the Atlantic created a tsunami that engulfed Atlantis. I have his book on order and not received it yet so I cannot comment in any more detail.
His hypothesis is a good one. The tsunamis would be adequate to inundate the Atlantean civilization. But it appears to be insufficient. First the tidal wave itself would leave Atlantis remaining above water - not submerging in a "day and a night". So I presume he hypothesizes that the impact on the ocean floor caused disturbances that also caused the land of Atlantis to sink. Again I don't have his book yet.
But there remains a larger problem with Muck's hypothesis - it is wholly inadequate to explain the world-wide disaster that must be accounted for. So his explanation must be only a part of the larger solution to the facts on the ground.
Just an interesting note. Mammoth remains were recently found in Maine and are displayed at the State Museum.
Of course the mammoth remains found in Maine are interesting in themselves. They also do make a significant other point: the finding of mammoths is not limited to Siberia. This will end up being a relevant point for this exploration of Atlantis.
Here is a quote that may relate to the animal in Maine.
"While the northern animals were frozen solid in ground almost instantly reduced to permafrost conditions, the mastodons, were entombed in great avalanches of mud and salts that, upon consolidating, often preserved many of their soft parts and sometimes even their stomach contents." [Cataclysm p 122]
Also after you published your letter I have noted some other creatures found within driving distance from where I live. They have been found in Orange County, New York state in 1845, Hackett's Town New Jersey, Jamestown New York in August 1871, Monmouth County, New Jersey in 1823, Long Branch New Jersey found in 1823, and another in Newburgh New York. All sites relatively close to home for me.
But what I am really concerned with is the issue of suddenness of the disaster that the Pleistocene age was created to resolve. How really abrupt was the disaster. To pursue I want to take a factor that is fairly known to the list - the frozen Siberian mammoth - and build upon that to explore the larger issue of suddenness.
For many years I thought there was only one frozen carcass found. Now I have explained that the first one was found in 1772. Even that is disputed. There are some records that suggest earlier. It is said that the Tunguse, living in Siberia, have used unfreezing mammoth carcasses for food for 1600 years.
"Based on the number of bones found and the use of old ivory continuing even today, the original number of the mammoths in Siberia and Alaska is estimated to be several hundred thousands, maybe even millions, of animals." [From Darwin was Wrong p 81]
Only ivory tusks that are from a recently deceased elephant or from a frozen mammoth are useful for carving. Ivory carving requires relatively fresh material. So there has been a huge market in recently unfrozen mammoth tusks for a long time. I seem to remember 20,000 such tusks in 3 decades but I suspect I somehow have my figures wrong. Here is a quote I just found:
"The larger part of the ivory, used for carving in Eastern Asia, even today comes from the large ivory deposits in Siberia. These consist of tusks of long extinct mammoths." [ibid p 79. published in 1998].
I don't seem able to find my Mammoth material at the moment but I have read startling figures claiming something like half the trade in ivory has come from Siberian sources of frozen mammoths in a significant number of decades in recent times past.
These frozen mammoths have been found in a wide area - some 3,000 miles from Siberia to Alaska. So we have many animals over a wide area.
Now to stomach contents.
Many people on this list I guess are aware that undigested buttercups have been found in the stomachs of the mammoths. Lets consider the buttercups first. They grow in a warmer climate than Siberia. We have also found in their stomachs undigested grasses that are known to grow ONLY in more moderate climates.
Of course a problem develops. To freeze a mammoth so fast that it does not rot and instead its stomach contents still remain undigested requires a VERY fast freeze. How could it have happened?
But whatever happened, happened faster than that. In 1900 a frozen mammoth was found in the Berezovka River. The unusual part was that there was half-chewed food in the animal's mouth. The animal did not have time to swallow before being overcome. The animal was found in upright position.
Often one sees pictures of the mammoths in todays science textbooks that represent a reconstructed image. What one usually sees is a winter type environment in the picture. But this is not correct. The mammoths did not have fur. They had straggly thin hair. It was not enough to keep them warm. Moreover, their skin did not have the proper oil for a cold climate. So they were not suited to a cold climate and the pictures are in error.
We can note that a mammoth needs to eat a lot of vegetation. A cold climate does not provide enough vegetation to supply the food for the mammoth. So the mammoth had been living in a warm climate not a frigid one.
Some more oddities. It wasn't only mammoths that had frozen.
Rhinoceros' were also found perfectly frozen. They are found today only in warmer climates.
Other animals found frozen include: horses, rabbits, squirrels, wolverines, a vole and a lynx along with numerous more species. All the list of animals lived or live today in warmer climates.
Plants were also frozen.
"While surveying the New Siberian Islands, Arctic explorer Baron Eduard von Toll discovered the remains of a sabretooth- tiger and those of a fruit tree with an original height of about 88 feet. The tree had suddenly and completely been preserved by the ice, including its ripe fruits, green leaves, roots and seeds, virtually instantly frozen. Nowadays, the only plants to be found there are creepers." [ibid p 80]
There is one last item called "muck" that also supports the suddenness. I will quote at some length in order to convey the point and then end the letter.
"Coincident with this dreadful slaughter upon the land was the deposition far inland of myriads of contemporary marine shells, and the stranding at great elevations of marine mammals such as whales, porpoises, walruses and seals. Elsewhere, vast forests were flattened and buried under equally vast accumulations of sand or mud or piled up in broken and twisted heaps.. At some localities plant remains were packed so densely and in such abundance as to form lignite (soft brown coal akin to peat) beds of great extent, while at others animal and plant remains were mixed together in inexpressible confusion as heterogeneous masses. In Alaska, for example, thick frozen deposits of volcanic ash, silts, sands boulders, lenticles and ribbons of unmelted ice, and countless relics of late Pleistocene animals and plants lie jumbled together in no discernible order, This amazing deposit, usually referred to as 'muck', has been described by Dr Rainey as containing: 'enormous numbers of frozen bones extinct animals, such as the mammoth, mastodon, super bison and horse, as well as brush, stumps, moss and freshwater molluscs.'
Hibben described these deposits in very similar language:
'In many places, Alaskan muck is packed with animal bones and debris in trainload lots. Bones of mammoths, mastodons, several kinds of bison, horses, wolves, bears, and lions tell a story of a faunal population ... within this frozen mass lie the twisted parts of animals and trees intermingled with lenses of ice and layers of peat and mosses. It looks as though in the midst of some cataclysmic catastrophe of ten thousand years ago the whole Alaskan world of living animals and plants was suddenly frozen in mid-motion in a grim charade.'
In another publication, the same author commented:
"Although the formation of the deposits of muck is not clear, there is ample evidence that at least portions of this material were deposited under catastrophic conditions. Mammal remains are for the most part dismembered and disarticulated, even though some fragments yet retain, in their frozen state, portions of ligaments, skin, hair and flesh. Twisted and torn trees are piled in splintered masses ... at least four considerable layers of volcanic ash may be traced in these deposits, although they are extremely warped and distorted."
All of this evidence suggests a global earth-wide sudden catastrophe that was almost instant. When we solve the larger problem of this enormous disaster, then we can more easily solve the lesser problem of the sinking of the island of Atlantis. Indeed, to make room for Atlantis within the science of geology, we need to loosen the grip of the existing paradigm of geology - as I hope we agree has been done - and then resolve the nature of this disaster. Then there is room for Theosophy's Atlantis within the data of geology.