Before we get into this post - which I have a feeling is going to be one of my favorites on this subject - let me first introduce you to a definition of ‘bitumen’, as we’re going to be hearing a lot about this substance.
Here’s how it’s defined in American by Colliers:
asphalt found in a natural state
any of various black, combustible, solid to semisolid mixtures of hydrocarbons that are usually obtained from the distillation of petroleum, used to make roofing materials, sealants, paints, etc.
Over 140 years’ ago, industrialists noticed that naturally-forming bitumen, or tar, or asphalt was oozing out of the ground at a place called Rancho La Brea, to the west of what was then the nascent city of Los Angeles, but which today butts right up against Hollywood and other LA suburbs.
Very quickly, they started mining this asphalt and shipping thousands of tons of it off to San Francisco, to pave the roads and waterproof the roofs. But a fortune in tarmac is not all they found in Rancho La Brea - they also discovered an absolutely enormous collection of dead animal remains, many of which were perfectly preserved in the black, sticky ooze.
Before we continue, let me give you the ‘official’ version of how all these animals - which included more than 700 sabre toothed tigers, wolves bisons, horses, mammoths, and also a number of birds, including peacocks - came to be in the Rancho La Brea tarpits, courtesy Wikipedia:
“This seepage has been happening for tens of thousands of years [sic]. From time to time, the asphalt would form a deposit thick enough to trap animals, and the surface would be covered with layers of water, dust, or leaves. Animals would wander in, become trapped, and eventually die. Predators would enter to eat the trapped animals and also become stuck.
As the bones of dead animals sink into the asphalt, it soaks into them, turning them a dark-brown or black color. Lighter fractions of petroleum evaporate from the asphalt, leaving a more solid substance, which encases the bones. Dramatic fossils of large mammals have been extricated from the tar, but the asphalt also preserves microfossils: wood and plant remnants, rodent bones, insects, mollusks, dust, seeds, leaves, and even pollen grains. Examples of some of these are on display in the George C. Page museum.
Radiometric dating of preserved wood and bones has given an age of 38,000 years for the oldest known material from the La Brea seeps.”
Oh yes, and radiocarbon dating tells us that all this happened around 38,000 years ago…
Now, are you ready for the real version of events?
THREE MASSIVE HOLES IN THEORY
The first hole in the theory is simply the sheer number of animal remains that were recovered from the pit. The skulls of wolves and sabre-toothed tigers were being recovered at the rate of 20 per square yard.
That’s an awful lot of carnivores fighting over a veal chop….
And that’s another problem with the theory, because overwhelmingly, the pit contained the remains of carnivores, and not herbivores.
But the most telling problem with this theory is that nearly all the skeletons recovered from Rancho La Brea - greatly to the surprise of the scientists working there - were smashed to pieces.
Writing in Fossils, Lull averred that the bones were ‘splendidly preserved’ in the hardened asphalt, but another chap called Price, writing in The New Geology, elaborated that they were
‘broken, mashed, contorted and mixed in a most heterogenous mass, such as could never have resulted from the chance trapping and burial of a few stragglers.”
CRUDE OIL AND COMETS
When the volatile elements evaporate out of crude oil, that’s when you get asphalt, tar, and other bituminous substances.
Here’s the thing about bitumen: it can also fall from the sky.
In fact, the modern plasma scientist James McCanney writes at length about this subject, and explains that instead of petroleum deposits somehow forming from ‘millions’ of years’ of decomposing ancient forests (and to this day, no-one has managed to explain how so many of these ‘ancient forests’ apparently grew two miles under oceanic seabeds…) petroleum is often present as part of the chemical mix contained in the ‘tail’ of a comet.
In the Torah’s account of Sodom and Gomorrah, five cities are described as being wiped out by ‘sulfur and fire’ raining down, ‘out of heaven’. The Jewish commentator Sforno explains that this sulfur and fire weren’t natural, ‘earthly’ phenomena, but something extra-terrestrial. I.e. - they fell on the planet from outer space.
Sulfur is a key component of crude oil, the stuff that is refined to make the petroleum we use to power our cars, amongst other things. Here’s what the petroleum.co.uk website says about the sulfur content of crude oil:
The terms sweet and sour are a reference to the sulfur content of crude oil. Early prospectors would taste oil to determine its quality, with low sulfur oil actually tasting sweet. Crude is currently considered sweet if it contains less than 0.5% sulfur.
Sweet crude is easier to refine and safer to extract and transport than sour crude. Because sulfur is corrosive, light crude also causes less damage to refineries and thus results in lower maintenance costs over time. Due to all these factors, sweet crude commands up to a $15 dollar premium per barrel over sour.
Sour crude oil will have greater than 0.5% sulfur and some of this will be in the form of hydrogen sulfide. Sour crude also contains more carbon dioxide. Most sulfur in crude is actually bonded to carbon atoms, nevertheless, high quantities of hydrogen sulfide in sour crude can pose serious health problems or even be fatal.
The following comes from THIS article on Aish.com:
"Fire and brimstone" is a common expression used to describe the sermon of an overzealous preacher, but exactly what is brimstone? The Hebrew word for brimstone in the Biblical verse is gafrit and is usually understood to mean sulfur. The Targum Yonathan ben Uziel translates the word into Aramaic as kivraitah.
“The term kivraitah appears in the Talmud (Babylonian Talmud Shabbos 89b, 90a; Nidah 62a) and is used in the context of a cleaning agent. It is likely that the Biblical gafrit is the hydrocarbon bitumen, which is the essential ingredient of asphalt. Bitumen can also be distilled into a cleaning agent.
“Bitumen/asphalt is a naturally occurring, highly flammable substance found in the Dead Sea area. In fact, Josephus refers to the Dead Sea as Lake Asphaltites. It is of interest to note that Josephus writes that the Lake Asphaltites was formed as a result of the devastation that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
“The entire areas of Bab edh-Drha and Numeira [which have been identified as the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah] are covered with a spongy ash. These two cities show clear signs of utter destruction. The layer of ash ranges from 4-20 inches in depth.
“Parallel to these five cities is fault line where two large plates of earth are exerting great pressure on each other. This tectonic feature has caused a number of earthquakes in the region. The pressure can also force subterranean matter, such as magma, or, in this case, bitumen into the air. Geologists suggest that, (when the time came for the destruction of Sodom -- my insertion), the earth spewed forth flammable hydrocarbons high into the atmosphere. These were ignited by lightening or some other natural source and the flaming debris fell back to earth. ”
So, we know bitumen and sulfur were falling on the earth around the Dead Sea area just under 4,000 years’ ago, i.e. well within modern human history, as these archeological remains show.
But while the geologists working at the Dead Sea like to say that ‘flammable hydrocarbons’ got spewed up into the air by some sort of volcanic activity from below, what REALLY happened is that these ‘flammable hydrocarbons’ rained down from above, as part of a comet-induced catastrophe of epic proportions.
Let’s go back to Rancho La Brea, and Velikovsky’s explanation of what occurred:
“Could it be that at this particular spot, large herds of wild beasts, most carnivorous, were overwhelmed by falling gravel, tempests, tides and raining bitumen? Similar finds in asphalt have been unearthed in two other places in California, at Carpinteria and McKittrick.”
One last thing to note is that human remains were also found in the La Brea tar pit, and that human was a ‘modern’ human, i.e. one of us. This stuff didn’t happen 38,000 years’ ago, as claimed, it happened less than 4,000 years’ ago.
A WORD ON HOLLYWOOD
When I started writing this post, I didn’t know that Rancho La Brea was located in the area of Hollywood (or rather, the other way around.)
In recent weeks, the comparisons between the behavior and morals of Hollywood and the behavior and morals of the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah have been ever-more starker. So it’s very interesting to note that probably at the same time that Sodom and Gomorrah were being wiped off the map by a Divine visitation of ‘fire and brimstone’, the exact same thing appeared to be happening on the other side of the globe, at the future location of Hollywood.
It certainly makes a person think.
- D. Neev & K.O. Emery, The Destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah, and Jericho: Geological, Climatological, and Archaeological Background (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995) 13-14, 33,37; G.M. Harris & A.P. Beardow, The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah: A Geological Perspective, Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology, Vol. 28, 360.