That some such thing has happened, may be guessed, for that the Earth seems as if it were new made out of the Ruins of an old World, wherein appear such Animal Bodies as were before the Deluge, but by their own Nature and Defences from the Weather, have endured ever since, either petrified, or else entire in statu naturali.
In 1995, Graham Hancock rewrote Donnelly’s Atlantis as Fingerprints of the Gods, changing very little of the original conceit except to add details from more recent fringe history. As Hancock moves toward publishing his latest sequel to Fingerprints, tentatively titled Magicians of the Gods, Hancock has once again turned to rewriting Donnelly to find a model.
Hancock has made reference to his belief that comet was responsible for destroying his lost civilization since the beginning of the year, but this week he published an article on his website (in two parts: here and here) laying out his reasoning in more detail. He begins by arguing that a comet hit the earth around 10,900 BCE, which scientists refer to as the supposed Younger Dryas Impact Event. This comet, in the generally accepted form of the impact theory, was responsible for devastating earth changes, including the extinction of the megafauna. Hancock recognizes that scientists are not in agreement that such a comet ever actually hit the earth; however, Hancock rejects the recent evidence against such an impact, arguing that “every attempt to refute the impact evidence has in turn been refuted and the case for the Younger Dryas comet is now so compelling that it is time to widen the debate.”
The argument is far from decided, but Hancock is right that there is new evidence. A study by David Meltzer et al. from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences from May of this year found that the evidence for the Younger Dryas Impact is incorrect and that the supposed impact never occurred. After reviewing inconsistencies in the evidence and determining that the sites associated with the event were not contemporary with each other, the authors conclude: “There is no reason or compelling evidence to accept the claim that a cosmic impact occurred ∼12,800 y ago and caused the Younger Dryas.” But Hancock prefers an article published in the Journal of Geology in September by Charles R. Kinzie et al. that focused on the appearance of nanodiamonds (NDs) in the Younger Dryas Boundary (YDB) layer of sediment: “The large body of evidence now obtained about YDB NDs is strongly consistent with an origin by cosmic impact at ≈12,800 cal BP and is inconsistent with formation of YDB NDs by natural terrestrial processes, including wildfires, anthropogenesis, and/or influx of cosmic dust.”
Kinzie et al. also present an argument in favor of the claim that all of the Younger Dryas sites are contemporary with each other and therefore evidence of a comet impact.
Not being a geologist, I have no way to evaluate which of the two positions is correct. Nevertheless, I’m fairly certain that Hancock is wrong in his conclusions based on accepting the reality of this comet impact:
It is, I believe, the "smoking gun" that made us a species with amnesia and wiped out almost all traces of a former high civilisation of prehistoric antiquity. But there were survivors, who preserved at least some of the knowledge of the civilisation that had been destroyed with the intention of transmitting it to future generations, so it is not an accident that the first traces of the re-emergence of civilisation, in the form of the earliest known megalithic architecture and the re-promulgation of agricultural skills, occur at Gobekli Tepe in Turkey 11,500 years ago -- a date that coincides exactly with the end of the Younger Dryas and the return to a more congenial global environment. Everything we have been taught about the origins of civilisation occurs AFTER 11,500 years ago -- in other words AFTER the radical punctuation mark of the Younger Dryas.
Hancock, though, isn’t content to simply ascribe to the comet the remaking of the whole earth. He then wonders if the ancient Egyptians preserved a fragment of said comet for eight or nine thousand years and worshiped it as the primordial benben stone, the model for the pyramids and the place of creation: “I suggest it is worth re-opening this discussion to consider whether the mysterious object worshipped in the Mansion of the Phoenix in Heliopolis might in fact have been a fragment of the Younger Dryas comet that caused the global cataclysm of 12,800 years ago.” In 1989, Hancock’s onetime writing partner Robert Bauval argued that the stone was a meteorite, and Hancock would like to extend this to a comet, though it isn’t clear to me how a comet—typically composed mostly of ice and small bits of rock—would produce a recoverably large sacred rock after slamming into the earth.