A TWENTY-mile wide piece of a huge comet poses a “clear and present” danger to ‘all life on Earth,’ a controversial new book by a bestselling author claims.
Former journalist Graham Hancock suggests in his latest work Magicians of the Gods, to have discovered evidence that a huge chunk of flaming rock up to 30 kms wide, hidden in a comet stream, could hit Earth with devastating effects in just 15 years.
Mr Hancock, a former east Africa correspondent for the Economist, who publishes his book on Thursday, says it will prove “beyond reasonable doubt” that a sophisticated civilization was all but wiped off the face of the our planet by chunks of the same comet between 11,600 and 12,800 years ago.
Express.co.uk has had an exclusive first look at the pseudo archaologist’s book, and can reveal that Mr Hancock, alarmingly, claims research shows Earth could again pass through the same section of the trail of comet Encke, containing the up to 20-mile wide monster in 2030.
He wrote: “The debris stream of the comet is still on an orbit that crosses the orbit of the Earth.
“Astronomers believe that a 20-mile wide dark fragment of the original giant comet remains hidden within the debris stream and poses a clear and present danger to all life on Earth.”
Mr Hancock first wrote 20 years ago in Fingerprints of the Gods his theory that an ancient civilization, including the occupants of the legendary Atlantis, were devastated by comet parts striking the planet nearly 13,000 years ago.
His book was panned by scientists as pseudo archaeology, but went onto to sell 9million copies and become a Sunday Times bestseller.
US geologist Paul Heinrich wrote at the time: “Rather than stumbling upon an archaeological mystery, he has merely created one.”
But Mr Hanckock claims the 500-page sequel, published 20 years later, provides the smoking gun scientific and archaeological evidence that he was right all along.
Mr Hancock said: “In 1995, I wrote a book about all the clues — the fingerprints — that pointed to the existence of this lost civilization.
“But what I lacked was a smoking gun. Now we have it.
“A series of papers in geophysics and geological journals have been bringing forward evidence that the Earth was indeed hit by a comet 12,800 years ago, which is exactly what I proposed in my book.”
The blurb for the new book says: “Near the end of the last Ice Age 12,800 years ago, a giant comet that had entered the solar system from deep space thousands of years earlier, broke into multiple fragments.
“Some of these struck the Earth causing a global cataclysm on a scale unseen since the extinction of the dinosaurs.
“At least eight of the fragments hit the North American ice cap, while further fragments hit the northern European ice cap.”
It says millions of square kms of ice were instantly liquidized causing global flooding deluges recognized in global mythology.
The book claims a second series of impacts caused further cataclysmic flooding, about 11,600 years ago – the date given by Plato for the destruction and submergence of Atlantis.
The blurb continues: “The evidence revealed in this book shows beyond reasonable doubt that an advanced localisation that flourished during the Ice Age was destroyed in the global cataclysms.”
He alleges that mankind was forced to start again as primitive.
But claims there were some survivors of the advanced race, known to later more primitive cultures by names such as ‘the Sages’, ‘the Magicians’, ‘the Shining Ones’, and ‘the Mystery Teachers of Heaven’.
He believes they traveled the world in ships trying to keep the spark of civilization burning by teaching mathematics, astronomy and science.
As to why there is no impact craters for the series of impacts, he argues because it struck ice caps, which melted, no traces were left.
The book goes on to look at future risks from the comet trail, which we see ever year during the Taurid meteor showers in October and November, relying heavily on the research of comet experts Victor Clube and Bill Napier.
But he also claims an astronomical message hidden in ancient monuments such as the Egyptian Sphinx and the pyramids warn that the comet’s “great return’ will occur “in our time”.
Mr Hancock wrote in the book: “It is possible – indexed highly probable – that we are not yet done with the comet that change the face of the Earth between 12,800 and 11,600 years ago.
“The evidence is that it was several fragments on this scale that hit the Earth 12,800 years ago, causing the Younger Dryas, that we crossed the debris stream of the comet again 11,600 years ago with equally dramatic effects that ended the Younger Dryas, and finally that we can expect further encounters with the remaining fragments in the future.
“This unique complex of debris,” write Clube and Napier, is undoubtedly the greatest collision hazard facing the earth at the present time.
“It is predicted that in the near future (around the year 2030) the earth will cross again that part of the torus that contains the fragments, an encounter that in the past has dramatically affected mankind.
“A collision with an object 30 mms in diameter would – at the very least – mean the end of civilization as we know it, and perhaps even the end of all human life on this planet.”
Ken Feder, an archaeologist known for writing an anti-pseudoarchaeology book called Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology, remains unconvinced by Mr Hancock’s works.
In a review of Fingerprints of the Gods, he said Mr Hancock did not seem able to “conceive of cultural evolution.”
His main problems with the book were that he “cherry-picked data” to make it work, did “not bother to address all the evidence” and relied on “very old and discredited fringe thinkers.”
Magicians of the Gods, The Forgotten Wisdom of Earth’s Lost Civilization by Graham Hancock is published by Coronet, £20.