Chandler on the YDI Hypothesis
© Charles Chandler
Despite the fact that I remain skeptical of Velikovski's ideas, I still believe that ancient symbols and lore were inspired by celestial events. I just think that it was a swarm of asteroids that came through, lighting up the daytime sky, causing a few impacts, and generally doing a pretty good job of making a lasting impression on the humans who were running around at the time, before heading back out into the interstellar medium.
And I believe that this was the Younger Dryas event(s). The one impact that we know about is the one that hit the Laurentide Ice Sheet, sending huge chunks of ice through the air, which caused the Carolina Bays when they bounced, before landing somewhere in the Atlantic. There could have also been a number of other near misses, and there could have been arc discharges powerful enough to catch everybody's attention. Just imagine what it would have been like to have been a hunter gatherer, 12900 BP, witnessing such events! And how would you explain such things to your children? I think that future generations then attempted to rationalize the stories, and mapped the events to objects that they could still find in the night sky, leaving us with lore associated with known planets from events that had nothing to do with the planets. The swarm that left its mark on our planet, and changed the evolutionary path of humans, while causing the extinction of many other species, is long gone. But it's interesting to consider the possibility that we could actually piece it all together someday, from the lore and from the scientific evidence. People don't just make up wild-n-crazy stories about things that don't relate directly to everyday life. So when such stories pop up all over the place, there has to be a reason.
And this is not an under-developed hunch. Two of my uncles were noted authorities on ancient history, including the study of mythology (i.e., Tertius Chandler, author of "Godly Kings and Early Ethics" and "4,000 Years of Urban Growth", and William Doty, author of "Myths, Rites, Symbols: A Mircea Eliade Reader" and "Mythography: The Study of Myths and Rituals" to name a few). Both of them could tell us how to distinguish between a popular story (because it is a projection of human psyche) versus the record of an actual event (because there are central aspects to the story that cannot be shown to have originated from within the minds of the storytellers). So if you tell me that there are numerous, repeating references to dramatic events in the sky, and ancient symbols that don't look like any common objects here on Earth, but do look like plasma discharges, and that there was an Earth-shattering impact 12900 BP, I'm going to think that the stories were all about the asteroid swarm.
But both of my uncles always insisted that all of the facts were taken into account, and that room be left for alternate interpretations. Your first thought isn't always your last! Knowledge isn't a position — it's a process.

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