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No. 46: Jul-Aug 1986

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Blackened, broken stones of the middle east

The current issue of Pursuit presents an article by Z. Sitchin in which he expounds his theory about ancient conflicts between gods and men. As evidence of this supposed strife, he reproduced a photograph of a plain in the Sinai Peninsula. Basically white limestone, the plain is thickly strewn with blackish, angular stones. Whence these immense quantities of incongruous stones? Sitchin proposes that they were created when an ancient spaceport was destroyed!

(Sitchin, Zecharia; "The Wars of Gods and Men," Pursuit, 18:106, 1985.)

Comment. Whatever one thinks of Sitchin's theory, the stones remain and must be accounted for. They are not the only such deposits in the Middle East. Velikovsky, in his Earth in Upheaval, states that 28 such rock fields are found in Arabia, some with areas of 6 or 7 thousand square miles. These are the "harras." Velikovsky thinks they are meteoric debris! Are there other explanations around?

Reference. The blackened stones are just one variety of anomalous superficial aggregation of surface rocks. For more, see ESM1 in Neglected Geological Anomalies. Details here.

From Science Frontiers #46, JUL-AUG 1986. 1986-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987