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Message Subject X Marks the Spot
Poster Handle Blue Skies
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The French aristocrat Antoine Bernard Alfred, baron d’Espiard de Colonge (1810-), rehearsed similar ideas in a book published in 1865: a giant planet once existed in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars; the moon was either captured or formed from a detached portion of the earth at the dawn of history; and extreme cosmic perturbations attributed to the close passage of a ‘vast planetary or meteoric body’ thoroughly affected the face of the earth. The baron emphasised the eye-witness quality of mythical records: ‘… the mythology, I say, is the history of anything close that took place on the earth itself at a certain time which chronology cannot exactly determine.’

He also introduced the concept of distinct chronological ‘ages’ associated with cosmic catastrophe as a new ingredient to the evolving catastrophist cocktail: the stars were invisible at first, while the sun metamorphosed in the course of four eras; and all human cultures preserved the memory of a bygone ‘age of the gods’: ‘The golden age or terrestrial Paradise … is anterior to grand events that changed everything on the earth …’ A sequence of catastrophic episodes formed the framework of Velikovsky’s vision, while Velikovsky’s treatment of human recollections of a ‘moonless’ age survives in unpublished form.


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