“Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
l hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.”
“God gave Noah the rainbow sign,
No more water but fire next time.”
World Enough, and Time
The Hopi have lived on the desert of northern Arizona for millennia. It is a high desert, which sees both blistering summers and frigid winters. The landscape seems to telescope outward, giving the mortal observer an ecstatic sense of eternity. The agrarian Hopi, equipped with mere seed-sacks and digging sticks, have humbly chosen to inhabit this severe yet hauntingly beautiful terrain since the beginning of the current world-age—not for their own benefit but simply to perform their annual cycle of sacred ceremonies. In this way they believe that they are keeping the whole world in balance.
Much like the Maya in Southern Mexico and Central America, the Hopi conceptualize time as a series of world-ages, or epochs, that have come and gone—destroyed not merely by random earth changes or astrophysical phenomena but by humankind’s disregard for Mother Earth and the spiritual dictates of the Creator, or the supreme deity. In other words, cataclysmic events in the natural world are causally connected to transgressions—that is, negative human actions.
Each world-age slowly devolves as iniquities gradually increase to the point where the Earth is no longer comfortably livable, practically sustainable, or spiritually healthy. This common theme among most traditional cultures of the world is the opposite of our contemporary Western paradigm that envisages unlimited progress on a long, unbroken arc into an ever-grander future. The ancient Greeks, for instance, knew of four world-ages: Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Iron. In the Bible, Book 2 of Daniel interprets King Nebuchadnezzar’s metaphoric dream, which reveals a statue with a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet of iron mixed with baked clay. The interpretation is basically temporal, showing the successive kingdoms that would follow Nebuchadnezzar’s golden reign.
Environmental degradation due to the avaricious practices of our technological world is, of course, becoming more and more apparent, climate-change deniers notwithstanding. A 2010 study by the National Academy of Sciences found that over 97% of climatologists agreed that anthropogenic (i.e., human-caused) greenhouse gases are responsible for most of the global warming in the last half of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st.1 The Hopi have always recognized that the increasingly detrimental actions of human beings in terms of both our own social systems and the ecosystem at large are merely signs of a devolving and morally degraded world-age with its concomitant declining spiritual wholesomeness. Lack of any appreciable action on the issue of climate change just hastens our descent into chaos. Although the Hopi look at this problem from a religious and moral framework, the way we treat our Earth as a living organism (the Gaia principle) is not just some counterculture notion of a bygone ecological fad; it is, in fact, a crucial concern that continues to involve every one of us, regardless of country, class, socio-economic status, or educational level.
Many Hopi acknowledge that the three previous Worlds had ended in dire cosmic events. According to various Hopi prophecies, most spiritual elders believe that our adverse behavior as a species and the current increase in disruptive natural events are signs that we are at the end of the current age (Fourth World). Let’s take a look at the three previous Worlds, each destroyed in a different manner. Thereby, we will attempt to assign a specific chronology to these mythological ages.
In order to understand the successive ages, we first need to make a brief overview of Earth during the most recent ice age. The peak of the last ice age, or Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), occurred about 23,000 years ago. With a substantial portion of the planet’s H2O locked in glaciers, sea level around the world averaged 120 to 130 meters (about 395 feet to 425 feet) lower than it is today. But this so-called ice age was not monolithically icy. Instead, colder periods called stadials were punctuated by warmer periods called interstadials.
After LGM, ice sheets began to recede as a gradual meltdown started. A colder period called the Oldest Dryas followed, lasting from 19,000 BP (years Before the Present) to 15,000 BP. This stadial and the other two major stadials are named after the arctic wildflower Dryas octopetala, which is resistant to the cold. A subsequent warmer period (interstadial) called the Bølling oscillation extended from 15,000 BP to 14,000 BP, at which time a very short stadial called the Older Dryas appeared, spanning from 14,000 BP to 13,700 BP—only about 300 years long. The next interstadial called the Allerød oscillation lasted from 13,700 BP to 12,900 BP. (Of course, different studies produce slightly different dates. In reality, empirical science involves just as much intuitive guesswork as hard data.) The Younger Dryas was the final but most intense major cold snap, stressing out the climate worldwide from 12,900 BP to 11,700 BP.2 Nicknamed the “Big Freeze,” this geological period may be contemporaneous with what the Hopi call the Second World. (See discussion below.)
Hopi First World: circa 20,000 (?) BP – 12,900 BP (Theme: Death by Fire)
The First World had been a paradise in which humans and animals amicably coexisted in nature. Like Gaia, the Great Mother Earth was a living being who gave sustenance and succor to all creatures. The Hopi believe that the essence of her milk was corn, so she was also called Corn Mother, who together with Sun Father provided both bounty and beauty. (The native chronology is somewhat incorrect here, since corn had been domesticated in Mesoamerica only since about 7000 BP.) During this epoch, humans and animals could understand each other telepathically, and all species lived in a unified web of life—a self-regulating, intricate matrix of interrelationships. In fact, it was rather like the ecosystems on the planet Pandora depicted in the movie Avatar. Most people possessed psychic, paranormal, or supernatural powers—clairvoyance, clairaudience, telekinesis, bilocation, etc. Quite simply, almost every human being had shaman-like capabilities.
Eventually, however, this ecological and psychological harmony began to unravel, and dissension developed. According to Hopi legend, one handsome and beguiling creature named Kato’ya appeared “…in the form of a snake, with a big head.” Sound familiar? Another named Mochi, also known as Lavaíhoya (literally, “the talker”), behaved vociferously like the mockingbird does today.3 Together the pair plotted to make mischief. Because of these creatures’ constant chatter, people began to gossip and fight—distracted from the ways of the Creator. They started to notice how they were different from the animals. They also began to see divisions in races, languages, and religions. In biblical terms, they had eaten from “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:17) As a result, paradise was lost.
The Hopi First World was terminated in two types of fire: (1) celestial, in the form of either a number of comet/asteroid strikes or coronal mass ejections from the sun, and (2) terrestrial, in the form of extreme volcanism. The Creator, sometime known as the sun god Taawa, told the sky god Sótuknang to eliminate the evil people and destroy the land on which they lived. (These two celestial beings would play a role in the destruction of two subsequent other world-ages as well.) According to the classic volume Book of the Hopi by author Frank Waters and Hopi informant Oswald White Bear Fredericks, “Sótuknang destroyed [the world] by fire because the Fire Clan had been its leaders. He rained fire upon it. He opened up the volcanoes. Fire came from above and below and all around until the earth, the waters, the air, all was one element, fire, and there was nothing left except the people inside the womb of the earth.”4
If the Fire Clan, or Ko’kop, was indeed in charge of the First World, then perhaps this clan’s sorcery was at least partly responsible for its destruction. The Ko’kop would also be partially involved in the devastation of the Second World. During the demise of both worlds, the righteous proto-Hopi would seek refuge in subterranean caverns. The survivors were protected by what they called the Ant People, or Anu Sinom, who welcomed the chosen native people into their “ant kivas.” (A kiva is a subterranean, communal prayer-chamber that the Hopi use for religious rituals to this day.) I have personally seen petroglyphs (rock carvings) in northern Arizona that depict this type of therianthropic entity—specifically, half-ant, half-human. These benevolent crypto-creatures taught the people how to sprout beans in the darkness and store food. These skills are currently celebrated during the Powamu, or Bean Dance Ceremony, in February on the Hopi reservation.5
What caused the fire in the sky that resulted in such absolute destruction? Some scientists claim that a massive comet exploded over North America about 12,900 BP, wiping out a number of animal species, including mammoths, mastodons, American camels and horses, ground sloths, saber-toothed tigers, short-faced bears, dire wolfs, and tapirs. Sadly enough, the destruction included many of whom archaeologists call the Clovis people and whom the Hopi call their ancient ancestors, or Hisatsinom. This super-comet may have caused an airburst similar to—but much more devastating than—the 1908 Tunguska event in Russia. Evidence of its detonation over the earth includes a layer of charcoal that contains levels of iridium two to threes times higher than normal. It is significant that iridium is also found in meteorites. A large number of tiny magnetic spheres, or microspherules, were additionally found in the layer corresponding to 12,900 years ago. In fact, this layer contained 3,000% more microspherules than adjacent layers. These tiny, highly polished “ball bearings” pelting down upon the Earth at over 3,000 miles per hour would have been lethal to any animal or human standing at the time.
Also contained within this chronological horizon is a layer of dense organic material called “black mat.” This layer, measuring between a few inches and one foot thick, was caused by huge blooms of algae. It indicates a massive die-off of both megafauna and humans, because no animal or human skeletons (or even Clovis artifacts) have ever been found above this black blanket.6 One more anomaly discovered in the Clovis layer was a multitude of shock-synthesized, hexagonal nanodiamonds, which can only be caused by a cometary blast. 7
In his recent book Forgotten Civilization, geologist Robert M. Schoch writes that a solar plasma blast may have been the Extinction Level Event (ELE) for both 12,900 BP and 11,700 BP—or in terms of this essay, both the end of the First World and the end of the Second World.8 This makes sense because the ancestral Hopi were forced underground during these two world-age destructions, whereas a subterranean refuge was apparently not needed during the destruction of the Third World circa 8000 BP by flood. (See discussions of both the Second World and the Third World below.) Schoch concedes, however, that the devastation in 12,900 BP may have been the result of either a comet or a solar outburst triggered by a comet.
As previously mentioned, the Hopi legend claims that there were both the fire in the sky and “the fire down below,” as the old Bob Seger song puts it, albeit in another context. Schoch comments: “Picture the last ice age, with huge masses of ice in the form of continental glaciers. Any factor, such as a major solar outburst that sends a CME [coronal mass ejection] and SPE [solar proton event] hurtling toward our way, which could quickly melt the ice, might cause the crust to snap back and readjust after being pressed down for so long by such weight. Possibly this could cause sudden cataclysmic earthquakes and volcanic activity around the world at an order of magnitude or more greater than what we are experiencing today.”9 To put it simply, the sudden release of pressure caused by the rapid ice-melt would consequently make the bowels of the Earth roil with fire.
Yet another theory for the end of the first world-age involves a scenario portrayed in the 1998 movie Armageddon: the collision of an asteroid with our planet. In a 2012 study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, James Kennett, professor at University of California, Santa Barbara, suggests that a meteorite striking the Earth caused the global cataclysm. At 18 different sites he found microspherules of silica and a thick layer of charcoal that indicate a meteoric impact, followed by massive fires. However, at three of the locations, Kennett also discovered a thin layer of rock called melt-glass occurring in about 12,900 BP. This vitrified rock is also termed trinitite because it is similar to the green melt-glass found after the first nuclear detonation in 1945 at Trinity Site in New Mexico. Melt-glass is formed at temperatures ranging from 3,100° to 3,600° F. It is neither volcanic nor cosmic in origin but is exclusively caused by the impact of an incoming bolide. This melt-glass was found at three primary locations: the upper Euphrates Valley of Syria, as well as the American States of Pennsylvania and South Carolina.10
A more recent study also published by the National Academy of Sciences corroborates this theory. Michail Petaev and his colleagues from Harvard University took samples from Greenland ice cores and found an increase in platinum at about the 12,900 BP level. “A 100-fold spike in platinum concentration occurs in ice that is around 12,890 years old, at the same moment that rapid cooling of the climate is indicated from oxygen isotope measurements. This coincides with the start of a climatic period called the ‘Younger Dryas’.”11 The study suggests that the source of platinum was extraterrestial rather than volcanic.
Astrophysicist Paul A. LaViolette, Ph.D., has developed an additional theory of worldwide conflagration. He claims that a series of cosmic ray volleys which he calls “galactic superwaves” were generated from the center of the Milky Way 26,000 years ago but reached our solar system only near the end of the last ice age. These juggernaut waves blasted the Earth with electromagnetic radiation, which includes deadly gamma rays, X rays, and ultraviolet rays. As a result, frozen cometary debris was vaporized and a dense cloud of cosmic dust and gases enveloped the Sun, triggering enormous CMEs that heated the atmosphere and caused massive die-offs of mammals too large to burrow into the earth. “Through these solar effects, the superwave was also responsible for the mass extinction which occurred 12,900 years ago in which 95 percent of the large mammal species on the North American continent were wiped out. Paleontologists agree that this was the worst mass extinction since the demise of the dinosaurs.” 12
Regardless of what specific natural agent caused the end of the Hopi First World —comet, solar plasma blast, asteroid, or galactic superwave—cumulative human transgressions are actually the root cause of the massive Death by Fire. This primeval age, pristine and paradisiacal, ultimately gave way to the next age in the cycle—the wheel inexorably turning.
Hopi Second World: circa 12,900 BP – 11,700 BP (Theme: Death by Ice)
According to the Hopi, the Second World was destroyed by ice, glaciers, or extreme cold specifically triggered by a pole shift. This world-age had been a time when humans no longer were one with animals, as in the First World (described above), but separate from them. The population had migrated to different parts of the Earth along well-established trails. The people had built substantial villages and had even developed complex trade networks. However, acquisition of material goods became an all-consuming passion. People had grown bellicose and distrustful of each other. Wild and uncivilized, they even began to engage in cannibalism. Dissension and chaos ensued, which eventually ushered in the destruction of this world-age.13 The Hopi term for this state of disequilibrium is koyaaniqatsi, meaning “collective life out of balance,” or “life of moral corruption and turmoil.”
Among their primordial mythical figures, the Hopi acknowledge a legendary pair of warrior twins. The elder named Pöqanghoya sat at the North Pole as the god of solid things, while the younger named Palöngawhoya was positioned at the South Pole as the god of sound, or an echo. This mischievous dyad was also considered to be culture heroes, sometimes performing Herculean tasks such as monster slaying. Not only were these two responsible for the creation of mountains and canyons, but they also monitored the vibratory centers of the earth, like the vortex points found, for example, in Sedona, Arizona.14
The warrior twins—jointly called the Pokangs—are sometimes associated with both the aggressive Hopi Fire Clan (Ko’kop, previously mentioned) and the Yaya Society. The latter group gained its powers through sorcery from the animal kingdom. These powers included the ability to see in the dark and to view distant objects like some mammals such as antelopes do. The Yaya Society’s protecting star was Sirius in the constellation Canis Major (Great Dog). The Hopi name for this star is Ponotsona, which literally means “sucks from the belly,” i.e., a mammal.15 This society also practiced both fire-walking and stick-swallowing. Extreme Yaya members would frequently kidnap and murder people in order to extend their own lives, sometimes killing even their own relatives.16 The Second World’s demise by ice may in fact have been the result of witchcraft, or human iniquity affecting the natural world.
The warrior twins played a direct role in the Second World’s termination. The sky god Sótuknang commanded the twins to leave their polar posts without warning. Frank Waters writes: “The twins had hardly abandoned their stations when the world, with no one to control it, teetered off balance, spun around crazily, then rolled over twice. Mountains plunged into seas with a great splash, seas and lakes sloshed over the land; and as the world spun through cold and lifeless space it froze into solid ice.”17
Shortly before this calamity, Sótuknang had caused spiritual elders to see inner visions, which instructed the righteous Hopi people to follow a cloud by day and a certain star by night in order to arrive at a preordained place. As in the annihilation of the First World, this sky god appeared to the group that had gathered. He led these select few to a large mound in the earth, into which they descended through subterranean passages and caverns. They remained in these refuges until the frigid destruction occurring on the planet’s surface had ceased. After the twins Pöqanghoya and Palöngawhoya had returned to their stations at the North and South Poles, and the Earth’s axis was again rotating properly, the troglodytes at last ascended from the caves to emerge into the sunlight of the new Third World.
This is the legend, now the science.
The previously mentioned geological period called the Younger Dryas may correspond to the Hopi Second World. It lasted from approximately 12,900 BP to 11,700 BP—the end of the First World (see discussion above) to the end of the Second World respectively. During this 1,200-year span, global temperatures plummeted. For instance, Greenland’s temperature is estimated to have been almost 60° F (15° C) lower than what it is today, which is by no means balmy.18 Author Graham Hancock describes the radical and rapid climate shift: “In many ways mysterious and unexplained, this was an almost unbelievably fast climatic reversion – from conditions that are calculated to have been warmer and wetter than today’s 13,000 years ago, to conditions that were colder and drier than those at the Last Glacial Maximum, not much more than a thousand years later.”19
Since about 20,000 BP the climate worldwide had generally been warming, with the exception of those periodic stadials noted above—cold punctuation marks in a temporal sentence increasingly seeking predicate heat. The Laurentide ice sheet, which had once extended from the Atlantic Ocean west to the Rocky Mountains and from the Arctic Circle south to the Missouri and Ohio Rivers, began melting. After one or more major ice-dams broke, huge volumes of freshwater consequently poured down the St. Lawrence River Valley and into the Atlantic from Lake Agassiz and Lake Ojibway—two massive glacial lakes that covered much of Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. This mixing of freshwater and saline seawater caused Atlantic currents, specifically the North Atlantic Drift and the Gulf Stream, to stall. These circulating currents, known as the thermohaline conveyor (thermo– = heat, haline = salt), usually bring northward the warmer, equatorial waters of the ocean’s surface. In higher latitudes the currents cool down and sink to the bottom. This halt in the warmer, saltier currents or perhaps even a complete collapse of the thermohaline circulation probably caused a global cold snap, or stadial, punctuating the warmer interglacial period.20 This is basically the premise behind the 1999 book The Coming Global Superstorm, co-authored by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber, as well as the 2004 film “The Day After Tomorrow.”
Somewhat surprising is the recent evidence that the onset of the Younger Dryas may have occurred in as little as a month, or at most a year.21 Conversely, in about 12,000 BP during the middle of the Younger Dryas, Antarctica and New Zealand were heating up, not cooling down. An article published in the journal Nature mentions this fact. “‘Glaciers in New Zealand receded dramatically at this time, suggesting that much of the southern hemisphere was warming with Antarctica,’ said study lead author, Michael Kaplan, a geochemist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.”22
This suggests perhaps even an ice-free Antarctica during this period, which is precisely what one proponent of polar shift, Charles H. Hapgood, has stated after his study of what is called the Piri Re’is map. Taken from original sources predating Classical Greece but perhaps going back to the Ice Age itself, the map shows the continent as it appeared without its ice mass no later than 6000 BP. Drawn by an admiral in the Turkish navy in 1513 AD, this cartographic curiosity also provides the correct relative longitudes for Africa and South America—a feat accomplished by Western science only in the 1700s. Hapgood describes the high civilization that produced the prototypes of this and similar portolans.23
The evidence presented by the ancient maps appears to suggest the existence in remote times, before the rise of the known cultures, of a true civilization, of a comparatively advanced sort, which either was localized in one area but had worldwide commerce, or was, in a real sense, a worldwide culture. This culture, at least in some respects, may well have been more advanced than the civilizations of Egypt, Babylonia, Greece, and Rome. In astronomy, nautical science, mapmaking and possibly ship-building, it was perhaps more advanced than any state of culture before the 18th Century of the Christian Era. 24
The possible existence of a highly developed civilization, as evidenced by these maps, corroborates the scenario of a technologically sophisticated culture that Hopi legends of the Third World evoke. (See discussion below.) Here we see an example of how scientific inquiry sometimes validates myths, which in our age—that is, the last part of the Fourth World—are generally discounted as untruths and the childish stories of early human history. In this case, our modern hubris seems to know no bounds.
Professor Hapgood, a Harvard graduate and historian, also developed a hypothesis (endorsed by none other than Albert Einstein) that during the last 100,000 years three consecutive pole shifts had occurred. These were caused when the Earth’s crust (lithosphere) moved over a softer layer beneath it (asthenosphere), much like the loosened skin of an orange that slides over its inner fruit. He variously called this phenomenon “displacement of the lithosphere,” “polar wandering,” or “earth crustal displacement.”
The last shift took place during a 5,000-year period between about 17,000 and 12,000 years ago, when the pole migrated about 30 degrees from Hudson Bay to its present location. The first pole shift from the Yukon to the Greenland Sea occurred between about 80,000 and 75,000 BP, and the second shift from the Greenland Sea to Hudson Bay happened between about 55,000 and 50,000 BP. All these pole shifts affected various ice ages and the warming or cooling of polar climates. They also provided the mechanisms that account for topographic changes in elevation, both on land and at sea. Hapgood even believed that the most recent pole shift might have been responsible in part for the extinction of megafauna in the Late Pleistocene, about 11,700 BP.25
We might conclude that the Hopi Second World coincided with a mini-ice age (the Younger Dryas) triggered by a pole shift. Along with the shifting axis of the Earth, substantial seismic activity undoubtedly increased. The Hopi legend says that mountains plunged into oceans, which earthquake activity can certainly initiate.
However, a supernova explosion has also been proposed for the global cataclysm of about 11,700 years ago that ended the Younger Dryas. Citing the work of D. S. Allan and J. B. Delair, the independent researcher and astrologer Barbara Hand Clow contends that:
…Earth’s axis was pulled into a tilt by fragments of a supernova in the Vela star system that blasted into our solar system in 9500 B.C. According to these authors, before then Earth’s axis was vertical, and we lived in the Golden Age. Many scholars have noted this distinctive shift in culture 11,500 years ago when the Pleistocene epoch closed and the Holocene began. My working hypothesis is that the advent of precession [of the equinoxes] in 9500 B.C. caused this cultural shift by fundamentally altering our experience of time. Suddenly humanity adopted agriculture in response to the new seasonality. Regardless, it is virtually certain that a great cataclysm changed everything on Earth 11,500 years ago. 26
Robert Schoch proposed that the causal event that ended the Hopi First World in 12,900 BP also ended the Second World in 11,700 BP. He posits that massive solar outbursts sent waves of plasma to bombard the Earth. Plasma is sometimes called the fourth state of matter, the other three being solids, liquids, and gases. It consists of ions, which are electrically charged particles, interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field and magnetosphere. Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) or solar proton events (SPEs) disturb space weather patterns and additionally cause the familiar auroras at each of the poles—the Northern and Southern Lights. If the solar flare is intense enough, however, it can cause catastrophic disruptions on the ground all over the planet. Dr. Schoch writes:
Plasma hitting the surface of Earth could heat and fuse rock, incinerate flammable materials, melt ice caps, vaporize shallow bodies of water, and send the climate into a warming spell. The release of pressure that follows the melting of thousands-of-meters-thick ice sheets can induce earthquakes and even cause hot rock under pressure to melt and erupt to the surface as volcanoes. Interacting with the magnetic field and magnetosphere, this extreme plasma event, this solar outburst, may have even affected the rotation and axis of the Earth. 27
In this scenario the plasma barrages slam into the Earth, triggering the melting ice caps, temblors, volcanism, vitrification of rock, torrential rains, and massive forest fires. Hence a complicated interaction of natural forces set in motion by human transgressions brought the Hopi Second World to its end.
Hopi Third World: circa 11,700 BP – 8000 BP (Theme: Death by Water)
A multitude of small floods has occurred at various locations throughout history, but it is unlikely that they had sufficient magnitude to wreak havoc upon the entire planet. Only a single global deluge holds that distinction. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the “great flood” is a universal legend appearing in the oral histories or texts of almost every culture on Earth.
The Hopi assert that the Third World, the age previous to our current Fourth World, ended in a worldwide inundation. This time-period had been host to a highly evolved civilization. According to the Hopi, the ancestors of the Third World constructed large metropolises in different countries and possessed a sophisticated global trade network. With their complex and technologically advanced society, they even built aerial vehicles for travel, transport, and combat. These aircraft were akin to the vimanas described in Hindu texts such as the Vaimanika Shastra. The Hopi call such a craft a paatuwvota, which means “magical flying shield.” This word etymologically means either “wonder-shield” or “water-shield.”28 Some researchers even speculate that Mu and—dare I utter the “A” word?—Atlantis engaged in warfare against each other.
Some scholars believe that level of technology was more advanced than ours is today. It may have involved a preponderance of what we call “green technology.” In other words, the basic principles of their achievements had developed along lines historically different than those that produced our technological and scientific milieu during the Industrial Age.
On the other hand, if the ancient science and technology were similar to our current development, a considerable amount of greenhouse gases and CO2 may have been released in the atmosphere during the Third World, creating the conditions that most climatologists see as the cause of global warming and climate change. Again we should stress that the Hopi, certainly not a high-tech culture, had legends of the previous world-age that was more sophisticated than is ours today.
At any rate, social and moral corruption overtook this society in the end, and the cosmic retribution proved to be a decimating flood. Although we still sometimes call natural disasters “acts of God,” the idea that deluges, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, etc. are causally related to human sin is usually restricted to Christian fundamentalists. Nonetheless, the Hopi have inherited this belief system from their ancestors, not from any form of evangelism. Of all the tribes of North America, the Hopi, partially due to their geographic remoteness, are the least affected by outside religions.
According to the legend, the sky god Sótuknang told the Spider Grandmother named Kókyangwúti that he would destroy the Earth by water before all the Hopi people had been corrupted by the evil thoughts and practices spreading across the land. She sealed the virtuous people inside hollow reeds, which began to float across the rising waters. Later the survivors built reed rafts upon which they sailed eastward across the ocean. Eventually they reached the western shores of North America and began to populate the American Southwest.29 But from what specific flood were they fleeing?
The actual period during which the massive submergence of the Hopi Third World may have occurred is moot. Most scientists agree, however, there were three major (i.e., non-local) floods at approximately the following dates: 13,700 BP, 11,700 BP, and the final inundation around 8000 BP. The first of these floods occurred after the end of the Older Dryas during the warming Allerød period, and the second took place following the end of the Younger Dryas. The third flood, however, was the largest and most cataclysmic; thus, it probably finished off the Hopi Third World for good.
The millennium preceding 8000 BP began what is known as the Holocene Climatic Optimum (9000 BP – 5000 BP), during which temperatures were higher than they are today. In fact, summer temperatures increased an average of 40° F at the North Pole and up to nearly 50° F in parts of Siberia.30 This certainly would have hastened the melting of the polar ice cap and northern glaciers. However, these temperature increases only occurred during the summer, not during the winter. In addition, at lower latitudes the temperature variants were more moderate, and in the Southern Hemisphere the climate was even a bit cooler.31
Also about 8,000 years ago Mount Etna in Sicily erupted, collapsing the eastern flank of the volcano. This event caused a debris-avalanche into the sea, which generated a catastrophic tsunami. A wall of water 130 feet high impacted much of the eastern Mediterranean, forcing the abandonment a number of villages in the Levant, including Atlit Yam. This Neolithic settlement covering nearly 10 acres once contained a number of rectangular houses and a semicircle made of seven megalithic stones, each weighing over 1,300 pounds. The ruins of this submerged village now rest about a half-mile west of the present coastline near the city of Haifa, Israel.32
During the same period the land bridge between Britain and the European continent sank into what is now the English Channel and the North Sea.33 In addition, a Black Sea deluge reputedly occurred in about 7600 BP, which could be the basis of the legendary Noah’s flood. The Black Sea was once a shallow freshwater lake fed by ancient rivers. Geologists Walter Pitman and William Ryan contend that the slowly rising saltwater of the Mediterranean Sea finally spilled over a rocky sill and surged through the narrow Bosporus Straits. This torrent submerged over 60,000 square miles of fertile farmland and significantly expanded the shoreline of the Black Sea, which turned saline in the process. The Bosporus became a flume containing 200 times the volume of Niagara Falls, roaring northward for nearly a year. Pitman and Ryan estimate that the sea advanced six inches per day, with a total depth of almost 500 feet during the deluge.
In 1999 Robert Ballard and a team of marine archaeologists surveyed with sonar imaging equipment the area in the Black Sea where the former shoreline had been. The survey ultimately corroborated the Pitman/Ryan findings. Ballard also dredged up freshwater mollusks dating from before 7500 BP, along with more recent saltwater mollusks. The traumatized inhabitants of the region who were forced to flee from their homes must have been afflicted for generations with the memories of this dreadful experience.34
Author and genetic researcher Stephen Oppenheimer of Oxford University comments on the precipitous rise in sea level during the last days of what was the Hopi Third World. “A sudden increase in global sea-levels by 5–10 metres, 8000 years ago, should be enough to satisfy some catastrophists that here was a real candidate for the great flood. Reports now appearing in geological journals, however, seem to be saying that this event was, if anything, even more catastrophic and more complicated. Instead of 5–10 metres, the rise could have been as much as 25 metres. Further this rise could have been a rise followed by a similar fall, just as the legends said.”35 A rise of over 80 feet in ocean levels worldwide must have overwhelmed the coastlines of whole continents, to one extent or another.
During those times, especially during the final flood, a massive continent in Malaysia known as Sundaland gradually subsided. (People with a more metaphysical predilection might refer to this continent as either Lemuria or Mu.) Robert Schoch describes the geophysical process.
In 18,000 B.C., when sea level was much lower, a continent-sized expanse of land in Southeast Asia lay where the southern reach of the South China Sea, the Gulf of Thailand, and the Java Sea are now. When the sea rose, a land area equal in extent to the Indian subcontinent sank slowly beneath the waves, leaving only the relative highlands of the Malay Archipelago, Indochina, Borneo, and the many islands of Indonesia protruding above them. Geologists call this expanse of drowned land the Sunda Shelf or Sundaland. 36
According to Oppenheimer, this inundation caused a series of emigrations that fanned out in all directions: southward toward Australia, westward toward the Indian Ocean, northward toward mainland Asia, and eastward toward Micronesia and Polynesia. The refugees sailing large ocean-going canoes or rafts brought with them the knowledge and skills that allowed civilization ultimately to flower in India, China, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece.37 The ancestral Hopi would have been part of the eastward wave, traveling on reed rafts toward the sunrise.
The Fourth World Turning Into the Fifth: 8000 BP – ? (Theme: Death by Fire Again?)
Unlike the Maya, the Hopi are never precise in the dating of the duration of world-ages, or the transition from one World to the next. In this essay I have attempted to correlate the description of these cyclic epochs with various earth changes and/or catastrophic astronomical events. Plato in his dialogue Timaeus famously states: “There have been and will be many different calamities to destroy mankind, the greatest of them by fire and water, lesser ones by countless other means.”38 Many scholars assume the approximate date for the destruction of Atlantis was 9600 BC. This is because Plato stated that its submergence occurred about 9000 years before the time of Solon, the 5th century Athenian poet and lawgiver who had received his information about the sunken continent from the Egyptians.
Let’s sum up each Hopi world-age along with its approximate termination date, and the geological or celestial events that may have caused it to end.
First World: 12,900 BP, destroyed by a comet impact, an asteroid strike, or a series of coronal mass ejections, perhaps set off by a galactic superwave (Death by Fire from the heavens). This wiped out much of the Earth’s megafauna.
Second World, 11,700 BP, destroyed by a pole shift, possibly caused by either a supernova or a plasma event, leading to a mini-ice age (Death by Ice). Again, the Younger Dryas lasted from circa 12,900 BP to 11,700 BP. These frigid conditions may also have caused the extinction of many Late Pleistocene mammals.
Third World: 8000 BP, destroyed by a deluge and the final submersion of a Pacific continent named Sundaland (Death by Water). However, partial flooding had also occurred both in 11,700 BP around the end of the Second World and in 13,500 BP during the First World—a warmer period (interstadial) called the Allerød oscillation.
We are currently living at the end of the Hopi Fourth World, where chaos and a life out of balance with the ways of the Creator are the norm. Hopi elders believe, however, we are soon to enter the next world-age (Fifth World), where peace, prosperity, and spirituality shall reign. Some Hopi prophets forecast that fire will again be the purifying agent that ultimately brings us into this new era. In biblical terms it will be “a new heaven and a new earth.”39 Grandfather David Monongye, Fire Clan member from the village of Hotevilla, Arizona, stated the following during the 1970s when he was over 90 years old.
It will then open our hearts and minds when a new age
is about to be, with people renewed and purified through fire.
It will be like the pure gold of a new day.
But fire is red, and when it takes command,
it will set the forces of nature in motion.
We will then know purification day has come.
We all are the caretakers of life.
The balance of nature depends on us.
The world will be what we want it to be.40
1. Doyle Rice, “Report: 97 percent of scientists say man-made climate change is real,” USA TODAY, June 22, 2010, http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2010/06/scientists-overwhelmingly-believe-in-man-made-climate-change/1
3. Frank Waters and Oswald White Bear Fredericks, Book of the Hopi (New York: Penguin Books, 1987, 1963), p. 12.
4. Waters and Fredericks, Book of the Hopi, ibid., p. 14.
5. For further information on the Ant People, see my books Eye of the Phoenix: Mysterious Visions and Secrets of the American Southwest (Kempton, Illinois: Adventures Unlimited Press, 2008), and Star Shrines and Earthworks of the Desert Southwest, (Kempton, Illinois: Adventures Unlimited Press, 2012).
6. Richard Firestone, Allen West, and Simon Warwick-Smith, The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes: Flood, Fire, and Famine in the History of Civilization (Rochester, Vermont: Bear & Co., 2006), pp. 31-33, p. 88, pp. 36-51..
7. Brendan Borrell, “Did a Comet Cause a North American Die-Off around 13,000 Years Ago?”, July 20 2009, Scientific American, www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=did-a-comet-cause-die-off.
8. Robert M. Schoch, Ph.D., Forgotten Civilization: The Role of Solar Outbursts In Our Past and Future (Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions, 2012), pp. 299-300.
9. Schoch, ibid., p. 144.
10. Thomas H. Maugh II, “New evidence that extraterrestrial impact killed off the mammoths,” Los Angeles Times, June 12, 2012, http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/12/science/la-sci-sn-comet-impact-20120612; “Meteorite storm ‘smashed the Earth 12,000 years ago and killed off a prehistoric people’,” Daily Mail, June 12, 2012, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2158054/Scientists-discover-evidence-meteorite-storm-hit-Earth-13-000-years-ago-killed-prehistoric-civilisation.html#ixzz2IwUPmO4j
11. Simon Redfern, “Ice core data supports ancient space impact idea,” BBC News, August 1, 2013, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23536567; http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/07/17/1303924110.
12. Paul A. LaViolette, Ph.D., “A Galactic Superwave Hazard Alert Update,” Nexus, August 2009, http://www.starburstfound.org/downloads/superwave/Nexus2009.pdf.
13. Albert Yava, Big Snow Falling: A Tewa-Hopi Indian’s Life and Times and the History and Traditions of His People, edited by Harold Courlander (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1978), p. 38.
14. Hamilton A. Tyler, Pueblo Gods and Myths (Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984, 1964), pp. 214-16.
15. Waters and Fredericks, Book of the Hopi, op. cit., p. 150. In the Southwest star correlation theory, Sirius corresponds to Chaco Canyon, where some archaeologists and forensic anthropologists theorize that cannibalism had been practiced. See material on various aspects of Chaco Canyon in my books: Star Shrines and Earthworks of the Desert Southwest, op. cit., The Kivas of Heaven: Ancient Hopi Starlore (Kempton, Illinois: Adventures Unlimited Press, 2010); Eye of the Phoenix, op. cit.; and The Orion Zone: Ancient Star Cities of the American Southwest (Kempton, Illinois: Adventures Unlimited Press, 2006).
16. Waters and Fredericks, Book of the Hopi, op. cit., pp. 239-247; Yava, Big Snow Falling, op. cit., pp. 46-48; Kachinas in the Pueblo World, edited by Polly Schaafsma (Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press, 2000), p. 144.
17. Waters and Fredericks, Book of the Hopi, ibid., p. 16.
18. “New Clue to How Last Ice Age Ended,” Science Daily, September 8, 2010, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100908132214.htm.
19. Graham Hancock, Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2002), p. 194.
20. “The Younger Dryas,” NOAA Climatology, August 8, 2008, www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/abrupt/data4.html; Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall, “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security,” October 2003, http://www.s-e-i.org/pentagon_climate_change.pdf.
21. Charles Q. Choi, “Big Freeze: Earth Could Plunge Into a Sudden Ice Age, “ Live Science, December 2, 2009, www.livescience.com/7981-big-freeze-earth-plunge-sudden-ice-age.html.
22. “New Clue to How Last Ice Age Ended,” Science Daily, op. cit.
23. Charles H. Hapgood, Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings: Evidence of Advance Civilization In the Ice Age (Kempton, Illinois: Adventures Unlimited Press, 1996, 1966), pp. 1-2.
24. Hapgood, ibid., p. 193.
25. Charles H. Hapgood, Path To the Pole (Philadelphia: Chilton Book Company, 1970), pp. 320-321.
26. Barbara Hand Clow, Catastrophobia: The Truth Behind Earth Changes (Rochester, Vermont: Bear & Co., 2001), pp. 13-14. “Precession of the equinoxes” is defined as the occurrences of the equinoxes earlier in each successive sidereal year due to a slow wobble in the earth’s axial spin that shifts the equinoctial points slightly westward along the ecliptic. The wobble is caused by the pull of the sun and moon on the earth’s equatorial bulges. Like the spinning of a top, this wobble makes the poles move around a center point (axis of the ecliptic), taking about 25,920 years to return to the same orientation with the stars. This gradual shifting of the sunrise point of the vernal equinox backward through the constellations of the zodiac at the rate of one degree every 72 years causes the stars to alter their positions basically once every 2,160 years—one-twelfth of the Great Year (25,920 years.) This is universally depicted in various mythological systems as world-cataclysms at the conclusion of each Age or Era.
27. Schoch, Forgotten Civilization, op. cit., pp. 96-97.
28. Hopi-English Dictionary of the Third Mesa Dialect, edited by Kenneth C. Hill, Emory Sekaquaptewa, Mary E. Black, and Ekkehart Malotki (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1998), p. 376. See a chapter on Hopi flying shields in each of my two my previous books: Eye of the Phoenix, op. cit., and The Kivas of Heaven, op. cit.
29. Waters and Fredericks, Book of the Hopi, op. cit., pp. 18-19.
35. Stephen Oppenheimer, Eden In the East: The Drowned Continent of Southeast Asia (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson/The Orion Publishing Group Ltd, 1998), p. 35.
36. Robert Schoch, Ph.D., with Robert Aquinas McNally, Voyages of the Pyramid Builders: The True Origins of the Pyramids from Lost Egypt to Ancient America (New York: Tarcher/Penguin Books, 2004, 2003), p. 244.
37. Oppenheimer, Eden In the East, op. cit., p. 10.
38. Plato, Timaeus, translated by Desmond Lee (London: Penguin Books, 1977, 1965), p. 35.
39. Revelation 21:1.
40. Robert Boissiere, Meditations With The Hopi (Santa Fe: Bear & Co., 1986), p. 113.
Copyright © 2015 Gary A. David. All rights reserved.
Brief Bio. of Gary A. David
Gary A. David is an archaeo-astronomer and independent researcher who has studied Southwestern archaeological ruins and rock art for over twenty-five years. His books about the Hopi and other ancestral Pueblo cultures of Arizona and New Mexico include:
The Orion Zone—Ancient Star Cities of the American Southwest
Eye of the Phoenix—Mysterious Visions and Secrets of the American Southwest
The Kivas of Heaven—Ancient Hopi Starlore
These are all available from Adventures Unlimited Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.
His most recent book titled Mirrors of Orion—Star Knowledge of the Ancient World was released by CreateSpace.
Mr. David earned a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Colorado, and he is a former college professor. He is also a poet, with numerous volumes published, and a professional lead guitarist and vocalist.
His articles or interviews have appeared in many magazines, including: Ancient American, Atlantis Rising, Fate, Fenix (Italy), Mysteries (Greece), Erich von Däniken’s Sagenhafte Zeiten (Legendary Times), UFO, and World Explorer. His work has also been featured in both of the Graham Hancock Readers and in The Disinformation Guide to Ancient Civilizations, Astonishing Archaeology and Hidden History.
Gary continues to give presentations, including: Ancient Mysteries International Conferences (AMI), Conference for Precession and Ancient Knowledge (CPAK), Verde Valley Archaeological Society, and many branches of Mutual UFO Network (MUFON).
He had given international radio interviews, including Coast to Coast AM with George Noory, Jeff Rense, Whitley Strieber’s Dreamland, Capricorn Radio with James Swagger, Paracast, and many others.
He recently appeared on the History Channel’s TV series: Ancient Aliens, Brad Meltzer’s Decoded, The Coming Apocalypse, as well as on French, Russian, and Japanese TV programs.
His website is: www.theorionzone.com.
His email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gary, his wife, daughter, and three cats live in Chino Valley, Arizona, where the skies are still relatively pristine.
Copyright © 2015 Gary A. David