Whitley's Journal

2012: What is Happening?

I have gone on record as saying that I doubt that anything particularly noteworthy will happen on December 21, 2012. However, this does not mean that I don't think we are in an era of great change that is going to impact life on earth profoundly. We are in such an era, and the changes are not simply of our own making.

At the Dreamland Stargate, I gave a presentation that is now available as an audio file in Unknowncountry.com's subcriber section in which I outlined some of the most amazing changes that I have discovered.

Something has been happening recently that exemplifies what I talk about in that presentation. In this case, asteroids have begun passing earth at close range and, in one case so far, entering our atmosphere and exploding.

Something that has been estimated to happen every five years or so--an asteroid of 10 feet in diameter or more passing close to earth--has just recently been happening every few weeks. When added to all the other changes that we are seeing that are related not to events on earth but to larger cosmic events, one has to think that, whether the ancient world knew it or did not know it, we are, in fact, in a time of great change.

So far, none of the asteroids that have come close to earth would have caused a disaster if they had entered our atmosphere. To reach the ground or get near enough to it to do damage, an asteroid needs to be relatively dense and at least 30 feet across.

Not to say that asteroids of this size would be all that dangerous even if they did strike the planet. Certainly, given the density of human population, somebody would experience effects from the strike of a small object. If a 40 foot asteroid struck a city, it would be a major disaster, for example. But it would not change life on the scale of the 6 mile wide object that struck 65 million years ago and brought the age of dinosaurs to a close, or even the Tunguska object, which was about a hundred feet across.

However, whatever is happening now, it is clear that the present asteroid swarm does contain hundred foot objects, because one passed within 45,000 miles of earth on March 2.

Last July, Jupiter was pummeled with large objects. In August, a substantial object tore through one of Saturn's rings. At the same time, a large area in Venus' cloud cover began glowing, suggesting either that there had been a major impact that we did not detect, or that an enormous volcanic eruption was taking place on the planet.

In my talk, I get into all the changes that are happening in the solar system and why. Right now, it seems to me that it is worth facing the fact that the solar system appears to have a much higher level of asteroid activity than normal, and that this has significance for planet earth.

We have a number of near-earth-object programs. We need to really ramp up our detection efforts and those programs, notoriously underfunded, need more money and the equipment and observers that go with it.

So far, we have had at best just a day or so warning about the objects that have been incoming. There was no warning at all of the one that exploded above Indonesia. The one that passed on November 9 had just 15 hours warning.

The theory--or rather, hope--is that we would get more warning of a larger object, say, one five hundred or a thousand feet across. At present, movie fantasies aside, we have absolutely no way to do anything about such objects, not without years of warning, and we will be lucky, frankly, if we get days.

What would happen if we did find a hundred foot object, say, a week out, would be shocking indeed. We would be able to accurately calculate that it would hit the earth, but not where. It would need to be just a short distance away before we could be absolutely certain where it would hit. During the time between first detection and final determination of the impact point, the entire planet would have to wait as estimates became more and more secure.

Obviously, this could happen, and to pretend that there has been no increase in the number of objects in the solar system recently is not appropriate. Scientific institutions, however, have a tendency to fear controversy, and so are unlikely to sound any sort of an alarm at the present time. So far, the few news stories about these objects have taken each one to be a singular event, not in context with the others.

I think that this is irresponsible. We are in a period of higher than average asteroid activity in our solar system, and no matter how the data are massaged to prove that there is no reason for concern, the fact is that the past two years have seen an awful lot of impacts and close approaches, and the past few months have been particularly notable.

So, what does this all have to do with the 2012 phenomenon? Frankly, I'm not entirely sure, but I do find it peculiar and, frankly, a bit ominous, that things like this are happening more and more the closer we get to the date that a number of past civilizations associate with great change.

What could they possibly have known? How? From what we know, for example, of the ancient Maya, there is almost zero possibility that they possessed a science advanced enough to make a prophecy so astonishingly accurate.

If, however, somebody in the distant past had knowledge of exactly where our solar system is in the cosmos, they might have been able to predict changes on this scale with great accuracy. For example, if they knew that the debris from an exploded star was racing toward us, they would be able to calculate with great accuracy exactly when the various elements of the explosion--the fast moving gamma rays and other energetic particles, the slower moving debris--would hit us.

To do that, though, they would have had to have more than an ability to observe. They would have needed to be able to penetrate deep space in order to meet the leading edge of the expanding cloud before it could first be seen on earth, which would be when it reached here.

Or would they? There is a book called "the Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes" that makes an interesting case that physical debris from a supernova struck earth approximately 12,000 years ago, shattering the Laurentide ice sheet and bringing the last ice age to an end. Subsequently, further evidence of this impact has been found in various places, most recently on islands off the coast of California.

Another book, called The Cosmic Winter, published about 10 years ago, contains calculations that suggest that the Piscid, Orionid, Perseid and Taurid meteor showers, two comets, Encke and Rudnicki, and the asteroids Hephaistos and Oljato, all came from the same gigantic object, a huge cometary body that entered our solar system about 20,000 years ago.

Debris from this body was probably responsible for the disaster that befell earth 12,000 years ago, and, if people with sophisticated astronomical and mathematical skills had been present on earth at that time, they would have been able to make calculations similar to those made by Victor Clube and Bill Napier, the authors of The Cosmic Winter, and perhaps, therefore, to accurately predict when this debris field, which must be in some way moving in orbit around the sun, might return.

But how could that be? When we look back 12,000 years, we certainly do not see an earth populated by a great civilization with scientific skills on a par with our own. To the contrary, we see a human species that has not yet even developed agriculture, let alone anything approaching any science at all, let alone a sophisticated science.

Or is that really true? Barbara Hand Clow wrote a most innovative book called Catastrophobia that suggested that we received such a devastating blow at that time that we are in a sort of state of amnesia about it, which explains the curious inability of many scientists to face the fact that planetary catastrophes have, far more than evolution, altered the course of life on earth, and also that of human life.

We do know that the same disaster that extinguished most of the large ungulates of North America also destroyed the entire Clovis culture, and that it was thousands of years before human beings repopulated the continent.

We also know that there were substantial and very sudden changes then. The Gulf Stream stopped flowing, and, as has recently been discovered, a Superstorm event took place, causing further planetary disruption. (I pass over the fact that science, which scorned me and Art Bell for identifying the fact that such storms are possible, has now proved that they do happen.)

Sea levels also rose an average of 30 feet as the glacier collapsed, and fantastic events took place, such as a phenomenal rush of water and debris into the Gulf of Mexico and out along the US continental shelf. Any structures or civilizations existing along the shores of the Pleistocene would have been decisively destroyed. And, in fact, there is off the coast of India evidence of a city that must have been submerged at least 9,000 years, which is described by Graham Hancock in his book Underworld.

So it is possible that we did possess a greater civilization during the Pleistocene. Obviously, it was not consumption-intensive like this one, or it would have left more profound marks. But we already know that high levels of materialism are not essential to mathematical skill, otherwise the Maya, who lacked even the wheel, would not have been such expert astronomers and mathematicians.

Did that civilization hand down a warning, that was preserved by the Maya and some other cultures, in the form of calendars that suggest major changes around this time? I think that this is certainly possible, and we do ourselves a disservice to continue to ignore the inescapable fact that our solar system is changing just at the time that the old predictions suggested that it would, and that these changes might have profound effects on our lives and our future.

December 21, 2012 is a place-marker, I think, not a precise date. But it is increasingly obvious that it does identify an era of change, and we do ourselves a disservice if--no matter its origin--we continue to ignore it.

So, what is to be done? Hide in caves? Jump off a cliff as some idiot has announced he is planning to do? Make a run on the freeze-dried food industry?

Hardly. To face change that is larger than we are, we need to begin by acknowledging our fragility and also our value, and look within ourselves for the strength we will need to survive.

12,000 years ago, if there was an advanced civilization on earth, it did not survive. But mankind did survive, and that will happen again. They left us a spiritual legacy that we continue to draw on to this day, even though we have forgotten its origins.

We might leave a good deal more, because I believe that human civilization is now much more extensive than it was then. If it existed then, it clung to the coastlines of a planet that was teeming with animal life. It did not involve huge populations, not like now.

Frankly, I think that, with care and determination, our civilization could probably weather a disaster on the scale of what happened 12,000 years ago. Clearly, we would take a substantial blow, but the survival would most likely be rich enough to recreate civilization without the huge gap that took place last time.

I wonder if our forebears knew this, too, which would be why many of the old predictions also suggest that the period of change will end with a new beginning, not a dark age?

This is the premise, at any rate, of my upcoming novel, "The Omega Point," which is to be published in June. Like "Nature's End," and "Superstorm," the book is already proving to be oddly prophetic. It was written out of deep, profound hope and the expectation that mankind has, in these past 5,000 years of development, crossed a threshold. If I am right, we may well experience a tremendous catastrophe of some sort in the relatively near future. If I am right, though, we will not lose so much as we did the last time, and will carry forward this time with all we have gained on our journey, and re-create civilization on a new foundation.

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