Comet what may

By Phil Plait | May 4, 2006 10:18 pm

In this week’s commentary, James Randi discusses the case of one Eric Julien, who, you may recall, is saying that the Earth will be hit by a piece of the comet 73/P Schwassmann-Wachmann on May 25.

Randi gives the lowdown on this character. It was bad enough when Julien was predicting some random explosion from a piece of this comet hitting the Earth (because it won’t; the nearest chunks will be millions of kilometers away), but now he has really amped up the scenario: Julien is now claiming there will be a huge tsunami caused by the comet impact.

I read Julien’s missive on this (follow the links from Randi’s page) and while his pseudoscience is bad enough (he bases his prediction on crop circles) his science is worse. Even if (if) a piece of this comet impacted the Earth, it would certainly not create a tsunami like he says. A piece smaller than a football field would blow up high in the atmosphere and not hit the Earth’s surface. The energy from the explosion of something football-field-sized, while very large (I mean really large), would dissipate a lot before hitting the surface. It wouldn’t be anywhere near the energy needed to make a tsunami 700 feet tall. For that, you’d need a huge piece, maybe a mile across, and that would have to hit the surface of the water directly. Even then, it’s not clear it would make a big tsunami. Scientists are still trying to figure out how big a wave you’d get from an impact. The math is pretty fierce. Some scientists think the tsunami would be much smaller than shown in the movie "Deep Impact", for example.

Anyway, a regular tsunami (like the one in the Pacific in 2004) is caused when an underwater earthquake displaces the ground, which in turn displaces water. Since the ground is directly contacting the water on top of it (they are what scientists call "well-coupled") the water absorbs that energy efficiently, and you move a lot of water. An explosion above the water’s surface is not well-coupled, so it would take vast amounts of energy to make a tsunami, and for that you need a huge piece of comet. The odds of a piece that big hitting the Earth, even from this comet, is vanishingly small (that’s scientist-speak again for really really small).

I may re-read Julien’s claims this weekend if I get a chance, and maybe even do a more thorough debunking. But he’s got a whole lot of bunk to toss around… and the impact of that is just as bad as a comet’s.

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Comments (53)

  1. I do not expect this comet-caused megatsunami on May 25th. However, I do believe that you’re overestimating what it would take to cause a large tsunami. It isn’t just the object hitting the water that would cause the wave; there is also the shock front of compressed air in front of the object. In previous megatsunamis like the one in Alaska a few decades ago, it was the air trapped between the falling rock (in that instance, a landslide) and the water that made the wave as large as it was.

  2. Yes, but again, the air compression was being done by a solid object (a lot of rock) falling down. That couples well with water. It would take a huge explosion to make enough energy to displace that kind of air. Nuclear tests have been done over water, even in water, and never caused a tsunami.

  3. Nigel Depledge

    Phil, if you were referring to the Tsunami of 26th December 2004, I think you’ll find it was more significant in the Indian Ocean than in the Pacific.

    Unless the CIA have moved Sri Lanka…

    :)

  4. Chip

    According to the science shows, (like Nova,) tsunamis are associated with earthquakes and massive landslides under the ocean.
    Without attempting the math, I would guess that the physics of a large mass hitting the ocean from above would be different. Though big waves could result if the object was large enough, and a lot of water was displaced and vaporized, the ocean might also act as a shock absorber, so that the ocean floor is unaffected. Tsunami waves are counterintuitive in that they are powerful under water but hardly noticed near the surface – until they get to the shore. They build up energy on approaching the shallow beach while impact waves likely dissipate in energy as they leave the explosion.

  5. Carnifex

    Dear Phil, it is spelled not p-s-e-u-d-o-s-c-i-e-n-c-e but a-n-t-i-s-c-i-e-n-c-e, I think we all agreed on that 😉

    I support you, an impact of a comet would never produce a tsunami – the mass of land moving during the earthquake and the energy produced during that are incomparable with those of some piece of comet smashing from the sky. What is more, during the impact most of the energy would go to heating water (I’m sure you’d see some big clouds of steam), but otherwise there would be only some surface waves, which would quickly disipate.

    So I basically repeated everything Chip just said 😉

  6. Ronan Cunniffe

    Very fast events are inefficient at generating motion – the contact regions absorb huge amounts of energy, and ablate (similar to why small meteorites can clunk into people’s living rooms and be cool enough to pick up).

    If you want to translate from shockwave to mass motion, you need a large enough buffer to absorb the shock and vapourise and become a pressure wave, and the pressure wave generates the mass motion on a timescale orders of magnitude slower than the original event. If you don’t have a big enough buffer, the shockwave simply tears outwards, breaking stuff locally, but not moving anything very much.

    Actually, I got this point clear in my head reading the BA’s review of The Bruce Willis Movie.

    Thanks,
    RC

  7. Evolving Squid

    They build up energy on approaching the shallow beach while impact waves likely dissipate in energy as they leave the explosion.

    Not quite.

    Tsunami waves dissipate energy as they move away from the source, just like any other wave. That’s why they don’t go on forever and why they’re essentially smaller the further you are away from the source.

    What controls how big the wave is when it hits your island are two factors: How much energy was in the original generated wave, and the overall topography of the ocean bottom near where you are.

    The waves don’t build up energy as they approach the beach. Drag on the wave against the ocean floor causes them slow down and increase their height. Put that into a constricted inlet, and you’ve got a recipe for some nasty business, like the 1720-foot tsunami that washed down Lituya Bay in Alaska in 1958. The wave has the energy it started with minus what it’s lost in dissipation travelling from its point of origin.

  8. Eighthman

    If there was a football-field-size comet fragment inbound, worrying about a tsunami would be in second place behind worrying about the airburst. Tunguska II over a populated area would not be good. (And as I’ve seen mentioned elsewhere, such an event could start war, as some governments might be unwilling to believe that it wasn’t a nuclear bomb.)

  9. icemith

    Surely the effect of a tsunami from a meteor or other such stellar object would be catastrophic if it does hit the ocean. It would probably be a large effect if the object was large (and also with large mass, I don’t think there are any loose bags of gas anywhere near us, and Saturn or Jupiter would be the last thing we would ever see, if THEY visited).

    Where it impacted, the angle, if it skipped and the subsequent impacts, but I think importantly, if it hit the ocean at a deep area, the shock wave created would progress in all directions in the water, and would be interfered with by any reflected wave from the sea bottom, and any landmass that got in the way.

    True, the surface (at the deep sea point, but away from the general impact), would not have a too large wave height. It is when that shockwave IN the water is raised up by the ever shallowing continental shelf, or shore, that the sea level would rise, and the sea would just keep going on shore till all its energy was dissipated. Of course a small remainder may actually reflect on the (land) surface and wash back across the original shore, doing double damage.

    Or wash right across, if it’s a low lying island.

    This is what happened to the Maldives Islands in the Indian Ocean after the December 2004 Earthquake/Tsunami. Some of these islands are only meters above sea level, and I’m talking about their highest mountain! Would you believe hill? Speed bump? … (Sorry ’bout that Chief). There was minimal damage compared to the massive damage and toll elsewhere, specially Aceh on Sumatra in Indonesia. The tsunami just went straight through, or over, and kept going.

    How does that event compare with a massive strike from the sky? I would say that it could be mildly disappointing! Relative to what could happen from a frontal assault from the sky. I’m afraid I don’t want to think about it anymore. Sorry.

    Ivan

  10. Michelle Rochon

    Oh god. Tsunamis have become really fashionable since the big one, uh? Everyone starts saying everything will cause a tsunami…

  11. P. Edward Murray

    Let’s not get too terribly complacent just because this comet is too far away to give us anything except a nice meteor shower and maybe not this year.

    Our little planet has had many huge impacts. How can you NOT say that any one of them did not cause a Tsunami?

    Try this experiment:

    Take a pebble and drop it into a bowl of water…waves result!

    Come on people, let’s have a bit of common sense here..of course a wave results, it’s common sense and experimentally verifiable.

    It just won’t happen today.

  12. Gary Ansorge

    Dropping a pebble in the water has quite different effects from slamming a pebble into water at 40 km per second.
    The first has “normal” intuited effects, ripples, etc.
    The second generates high energy plasma, a super heated torch penetrating the water, vaporizing the sea floor to a depth of several miles(possible tens of miles)throwing a lot of material into the stratosphere and beyond. Shock waves normally propagate at the speed of sound in the affected medium. Not sure how that medium would respond to compression at near relativistic velocities. Need some research done. At any rate, I predict the effects would be counterintuitive,,,

    Gary 7

  13. Leon

    It’s ridiculous that people cook up these doomsday scenarios and get press for them–and that they get some people believing them! You’d think, after all the bullsh** doomsday predictions that have fallen flat in the past, people would wake up and figure out that if some disaster is on its way, it’ll be reported by our major scientific institutions, not by some guy who reads meaning into crop circles.

    I suppose it’s another reflection of the sad state of people’s scientific awareness and even their confidence in science.

  14. Irishman

    Phil, you link to your review of Deep Impact.
    http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/movies/di2.html

    In that review, you state:
    [Note: I have been informed after posting this that the speed of the wave is supersonic in the air, but not in water. Sound travels faster in water, so it is possible that the wave has slowed enough that water on the beach is aware of the tsunami, before the tsunami actually hits. I am still not clear on why the beach water would recede in this case, but I have also been told that in earthquake induced tsunamis the water in front of the wave actually does recede. Hmmm.]

    I think if you look at what Evolving Squid said, you will have the root of the answer.

    The waves don’t build up energy as they approach the beach. Drag on the wave against the ocean floor causes them slow down and increase their height.

    Think this way: the wave has a long wavelenth traveling a very high speed through the water with ocean depth. As the depth decreases, the waves slow, so the amplitude increases. Ergo, the wave approaching the shore is higher and slower than the wave traveling in the ocean. Why does the water recede? Which part of the wave approaches land first, a peak or a trough? If a trough approaches first, you get water receding from land.

    Chip said:
    According to the science shows, (like Nova,) tsunamis are associated with earthquakes and massive landslides under the ocean.

    Usually, but modeling of the aforementioned Alaska megatsunami demonstrated that a landslide from above water slamming into the water at a steep angle can cause a massive tsunami because of the displacement by rock and air, larger than just the rock displacement.

    I have no idea what would happen if a large comet hit the ocean. I’m fairly confident that Phil knows his topic and that a football field diameter comet would break up on entry into lots of water and debris – vaporize and disperse. Something a mile in diameter would produce a significant shock wave, and even though parts would vaporize on the way in, there is a non-linear interaction when striking the ocean. Could possibly be vaporization of a bit of ocean, just like an asteroid strike on land causes a crater larger than the chunk of rock. Could also send water cascading away in waves. Could also shock the sea floor, triggering earthquakes, which then might trigger other tsunami.

    I don’t want to be here in Houston if that happens anywhere in the Atlantic near the Gulf of Mexico. But I think a tsunami might not be my biggest worry, either.

  15. Gary Mcleod

    I think the point here is that some crackpot is exploiting people’s fears following the terrible tsunami in 2004, and ‘justifying’ it with reference to another hoax, a shameful despicable scare-mongerer!

  16. After May 25 passes with no comet impact, I wish there could be some form of public flogging for this crackpot’s attempt at causing a panic. He is probably trying to sell books or doing it for the attention. Unfortunately, the public too quickly forgets and forgives these stupid predictions with no consequences for the perpetrator. There is no deterrance for the next idiot in line.

  17. P. Edward Murray

    Irishman you are correct. The pebble or asteroid that you drop into a body of water does make waves. A Tsumani results because of the gradient leading up to the shore.

  18. horseshoe

    I’m not sure if anyone else noticed, but some of the images of the Boxing Day Tsunami that Eric Julien posted on his website aren’t even real pictures of the tsunami!

    http://www.savelivesinmay.com/art-deep-impact-may-2006-En.htm

    There is a group of five images at the top of this web page. At least two of them are debunked at snopes.com

    http://www.snopes.com/photos/tsunami/tsunami1.asp

    As for the remaining images on the web page… I’ll assume that Mr. Julien knew that they were not genuine :)

  19. Carnifex

    Irishman – just a little notice, would you mind taking an example with correct relative sizes? Like… 50 meter swimming pool and a 1 cm diameter rock or something (I actually think it should be something even smaller, as it’s quite improbable that one mile wide piece o’comet will hit us anytime soon). Now tell me, would those produced waves be very significant anywhere further from the impact site? I doubt that.

  20. Carnifex

    By the way, Gary Ansorge, 40 km/s is not a relativistic speed by any means. I mean, relativistic factor (square root[1 – velocity squared / speed of light squared]) is 1.00000001 instead of 1. The difference is to small to say that everyday Newtonian mechanics wouldn’t fit any more. No need to exaggerate, please. Yes, that is freaking huge velocity, but all that plasma talks are way off. Some serious water steam is another thing though…

  21. Carnifex

    Ahhh… The first comment was to P. Edward Murray, sorry about that and sorry about those multiple posts…

  22. P. Edward Murray

    Carnifex,

    It’s the gradient, the slope towards the beach that compresses the wave making it larger than it is.
    Think of the Bay of Fundy.

  23. Carnifex

    I know that, but most surfacial waves are long gone before they reach that slope because of the friction with air. Or should I call it energy dissipation to the air, and, as air is BAD conductor of waves, it’s equal to wasted wave energy, while tsunamis are waves in the bottom of the ocean and they travel through a media, which transports energy way better than air?

  24. Now I am releived, all along I beleived that The Tunguska explosion was caused by “The Tunguska Comet”.
    After reading this article I came to the conclusion that such an incident could not possibly occur.
    Therefore, I am going back to the most plausible explantation given by thinking minds, and that is that the Tanguska exploison was due to the mechanical failure of an alien UFO, which caused it to explode in the atmosphere !

  25. P. Edward Murray

    The Comet, or at least one fragment of it, will pass rather close to The Ring Nebula in Lyra tonight at around 11:30 pm EDT.

    Good Chance to see it if you haven’t already.

  26. Carnifex

    Arn – man, that what the article tries to say – tsunamis aren’t possible, because the comet would blow up in the air like Tunguskan Comet did and wouldn’t reach that holly damn water. I hope you just misunderstood what you’ve read…

  27. Well a lot against Tsunami’s.

    First, if the surface water is vaperised (rather than being pushed away as most inferr) then the hole left would be refilled and a tsunami created in the same way as a boat wake.

    Second, there has been more than just Tungusta in 1908. There was Tapanui in 1178. This impact was associated with a tsunami that left a “trim line” 30m high on the Bluff Hill in Southland. The impact was with the ground surface. (P. Snow 1982)

    Third: The tsunami may be created by a secondary cause, like plate fault movement or landslides (above or below water).

    In there not a volcanic island in the east Atlantic that is ready to collapes and cause a large tsunami. A mere 10m comet fragment could start that.

  28. ScottAnthonyDavis

    First: You have to give some attention to this since we have had huge rocks flying by us at such close proximity and without any notice or detection by so-called near earth experts. The fact is that we have done nothing as a leading scientific nation to track the largest threat to our existence. Even now our best is nowhere good enough and quite easily put into the category of being in its infancy. The fact is that this could very well be a warning to consider regardless of its source or facts. Remember, it is not a matter of if it’s a matter of when. It has happened before and it will happen again and we are much more populated

    Second: If NASA/ESA and others cannot accurately detect the trajectory of a few near object asteroids flying between the Earth and the Moon, how can we say that they have a true and proven model of all comet fragments and the over all affect the break-up had on velocity and trajectory.

    Third: If a large sized comet were going to hit and there was nothing anyone could do about it, do you really think they (you know who) would notify the people and start a coastal panic. For them it would be business as usual until the last second and the victims would be sitting ducks. You cannot disregard the effect an impact would have on the Atlantic Ridge; it’s volcanic faults-vents and the thin surface crust.
    I don’t live anywhere near where this would occur but I feel it is better to be safe and aware than to be oblivious and even possibly dead.

    We are close to a date that holds a great deal of significance and importance to many and this is just one more sign that validate the age we are living in.

    You are only a skeptic until the truth and reality smacks you right in the face

  29. HAROLD HARTLEY

    The Comet will NOT hit until the year 2014.

    According to Nostradamus the comet will not hit

    until just after we reach Seven Billion Population

    which will be in 2012 AD.

  30. Peter

    Greetings from Poland. (Europe)
    Firstly I am sorry for my english.

    I am in the research on the internet and what about signs it’s True. On the website http://www.exodus2006.com (Bible Code) there is prediction that in this year 2006 in MAY will impact comet in to the ocean.

    The best thing is that this website is for couple of years on the internet and these and all information there are for years.

    Many things just happened what they said. In this year there also talks about next war III. Starting with Iran.

    I hope this will not happen.

    Regards.

  31. ENIGMA, I appreciate the vote of support, but I do have to take some note of your language– please don’t use bad words here. Children read this blog.

    Also, a lot of your statements are, frankly, bizarre. Even if France had institutionalized anti-semitism and anti-Americanism (which it does not), what does that have to do with anything? Your characterization of France is wrong, as well as insulting.

  32. MIke

    I agree with Olga,

    This news just popped up and this dream seeing fellow writes an article about a comet hitting Earth and killing millions? How come this is not on CNN, ABC, or any major radio station? I believe that this could happen, but not with 200 m waves, that wipes out the whole east coast – especially with alient involved. He is an idiot and I hope this gets cleared out so people would not worry about this issue, as if we don’t have enough to worry about.

  33. ENIGMA

    Well I didn’t mean to be insulting and I didn’t think children read this thing but if they do I apologize but my opinions are what they are about the French or at least some of them. I won’t apologize for that. I don’t think that its right for me to be censored and someone like Eric Julien to be out there speweing nonscense and be allowed to scare millions of people out of their minds. Sure he didn’t curse and all that but he did scare the living day lights out of enough people to have them pay attention. Now answer me this, what if the day comes and some of those same gullible people sell property and head for the hills and than obviously nothing happens? How much cursing and anger will you be hearing then? I can guarantee at least one of those people will be thinking lawsuit.

    I don’t curse usually in fact if anyone who knows me would read that post they would be really surprised because I only do that when I’m really mad. In any case I have lived in my short 22 yr life span through a lot of anti-american behavior and anti-semitism so no one can really tell me that people in that country think differently.

    I do however believe that all people are born good. I’m not a negative person but I have to tell you that Eric Julien proved just another portion of just how much we are hated in this world and not just by the French people.

    But regardless of his religious or political beliefs I still think that he shouldn’t be allowed to say things like that because as you said kids read this and can you imagine how much terror they are feeling now? I mean this came out of an adult so it must be true. It’s really easy to scare a child. They are afraid of monsters in their closets and the boogeyman and here is someone telling them that a piece of rock from outer space will come and kill them. And he got the information from Aliens; another thing that kids either believe in or think about from the movies they watch.

    This disgusting weather over the northeast isn’t helping because people’s imaginations run away with them. I’ve read other posts where people are either hilariously funny or they are angry as all heck. I just think that there should be some kind of public announcement to defuse the situation and make people feel better. On the big news stations. Right now all they talk about is how many troops we loose everyday in Iraq (which is depressing on its own) and the fact that New England is flooded. Well not all of us are swimming yet so you can move on to this topic.

    Once again I apologize for any bad language or anything else that might have insulted anyone. But I won’t change my views. Take it or leave it.

    Take care,
    Olga

  34. Marty

    Hey Enigma,

    I believe that we are responsible for how we feel and think. If people believe Eric Julien and feel stress…well that it is a choice people make. I mean anxiety, stress, worrying….comes from the fact that we perceive things as not so good. If Eric Julien is able to cause panic…then it is a sign that we need to be stronger and more independant. Our Government likes to create panics too when it fits their agenda…It’s not about Eric Julien…it is about us as human beings…when will be able to take responsibilty for ourselves instead of blaming each others for how we feel. When we feel mad…chances are that madness was there long before. The other person was simply a trigger. I recommend you all the book “The Power of Now” by E. Tolle

    Take care, Marty.

  35. Sergio

    Have you ever seen a rock hit the water?
    Use that model in a large scale…

    take care

    Sérgio

  36. isobel

    hello, Enigma
    Just to put a rainbow in your grey sky
    I’m french
    I LOVE America
    I’ve never had an antisemitic feeling
    All my friends have the same ideas
    And i have a lot of friends…
    Your opinion is hurtful
    How would you feel if you read “American people are all fat scientologist and anti-muslim fanatics?”
    About Eric Julien, he lives in Hawaii, because he’s not welcome in France, even in UFO-addicts community . He appears to be more a dreamer than a psychopath. The problem is that comets have always been interpreted in a religious/apocalyptical way in order to announce the end of a world that appear rotten to many people. It’s human : Armaggedon seems to be printed in the collective unconscious of Christians and appears inevitable. Such events (comets, tsunamis) are perceived as “normal”, “punishments”. Many people lack of scientific knowledge, and of confidence in “official assertions” (the X-files syndrom ?).It’s enough to make people turn themselves towards “prophets”… I would like the scientific community to be less discrete, more offensive, in such cases.
    (please excuse my english)

  37. jason

    I dont think a fragment will hit either, but i think its freaky that FEMA and a number of nations are running a drill on or around the 25th called the pacific peril, which is a drill to test emergency services for a catastrophic seismic event eg, tsunami. Ive also read that these drills were planned for 9/11 coincidently the same scenario as what happened on that day, also the london bombings which there was a practice drill at the same time same place, for the same type of event that took place? coincidence?

  38. Joan

    Hi, well I guess you’d consider me an idiot..don’t groan but I know you might!! I live near the coast on the gulf coast. I would like to know ahead of time if at all possible but who knows if that will occur should such an event happen within my lifetime. I’m 54 years old and have no college degree. I’ve heard rumor that something could approach us and we’d not know until just a few hours prior..okay you scientific people, what do you say to that? I’d be inclined to believe the scriptures but who out there has ciphered codes or had premonitons about this event and made sure the rest of us do hear of it and know the date of this occurance? These people who receive premonitions seem to come out of the woodwork after the fact…not saying they are lying but why didn’t they say something BEFORE it happened? I have only the biblecode post and one frenchman giving me strong warning signs. Since I presume that no specific ocean is named in the bible scriptures, am I to presume it will stike the Atlantic ocean when it DOES occur..be in 2006 or 2012 or whenever?

  39. ellen olenska

    It is May 23rd, and for all of our sakes I hope that the ridicule this person Julien has been subjected to is justified. I came here to this site to find reassurance. I thank you all for that. It is deeply unsettling nonetheless. And if this dude is psychotic or deluded, he should be charged and tried for the angst he has caused.

    Olenska

  40. bob

    While I by no means believe in Juliens assertions, I see no reason to discount them as impossible. For one thing you have set up a strawman. His claim was actually that major seismic/volcanic activity triggered by the impact will be the cause of the tsunami, not the impact itself. Whether or not that is likely or possible is another story altogether, but I doubt bad “astronomers” are really the highest experts in the matter (I would look more to seismologists, vulcanologists, hydrologists and such probably).
    Also, why is everyone so quick to jump on the guy’s back? After looking through his site, it definitely does NOT seem to be financially oriented, so we have to assume he believes his tale (occams razor). So if he believes what he is saying than he is obviously doing whatever he can to save the lives of millions of people, in his own mind at least. So this means he is deserving of the vitriolic and hostile attitude I see here? At worst he’s a little deluded, but won’t all of you feel stupid if he is right.
    Once again I’m not saying I believe him, and if I lived on the Atlantic coast I would probably stay right there and wait, but I still won’t claim to know the future. I leave that for nutters and prophets.

    So please, if you want to take pot shots at crankpots, at least learn what they are actually saying, cause it is really annoying to hear a pompous, self important prick deconstructing an argument that was never made.

  41. Pete

    Well I’m going to walk around with a bucket on my head today. Firstly it offers protection and secondly I can use it to bail out all the water! The human race is fairly guilable, after all how many people out there believe the earth was made in 7 days or that Darwin didn’t have a clue??

    Pete.

  42. Roo

    Never under estimate the impossible!
    Don’t dwell on it!
    But be openminded,with good common sense
    and be wise.

    Roo

  43. Roo

    I agree with Ed Minchau.
    But,whos to say this WILL occur?
    If so,it would be all over tv, right?
    But surely if something as that were to happen
    MOST that will be effected 150 miles or more …
    off the coast.Should have time to head out.
    No packing lol. Just GO!

    Roo

  44. rick

    I got my umbrella.

  45. Alvin

    Here’s a quote from the website you so artlessly debunked:

    “Accordingly, the meteorite fragment considered in the event of MAY 25, 2006 will strike the mid-Atlantic dorsal, but will not be able, in any case, to generate, by impact alone, the giant tsunami in my vision.”

    So wait, he says exactly what you do? Maybe you should have read it before crafting your oh so clever strawman. Maybe Julien is tossing a lot of bunk around, but you seem to be doing your share as well.

  46. realscooby

    So.. it is already afternoon and I didn’t see any part falling down from outerspace.. as well as there is no sign of extraterestrials who just wait to “attack” earth.. Just go out and enjoy life. Who cares the end of “us”? We live NOW and eventhough we lived only 1 more hour we should not always put everything in question. Live in peace with your brothers and sisters and respect nature. For all other rumours let the time show….

  47. Alvin

    Well, I’m not holding my breath or anything, but the predicted time was actually somewhere around 10pm EST, so he isn’t wrong yet. You are right scooby though, the best thing to do is just go out and enjoy life. We can’t run for the hills everytime some nut predicts the apocalypse. That being said, the self-assured arrogance of “skeptics” is really irritating, and they have a tendency to ignore the obvious and come up with amazingly complicated explanations in the name of occam’s razor (not that this was an example of that, this was more just standard strawman baloney).

    So, mr bad astronomer, I guess you chose to wait for time to make a fool of Julien rather than try to deconstruct his actual argument. It is a much better strategy, and if you had followed it from the beginning you would look like such a fool now.

    Here’s a fun little intro on “skeptics”
    http://rigorousintuition.blogspot.com/2006/03/body-eclectic-part-one_28.html

  48. realscooby

    Hi Alvin!

    I agree with you! But did you see what Eric’s HP now says? There is a time window now… 48 hours to go..

    I try to understand many aspects and I also tried to understand why NASA wouldn’t inform us if such an event would take place. I am not sure if the gouverments really have such a strong influence to hide such an issue. Besides NASA are more small astronomers (not only Eric ;-)) who would also report an meteor.

    Sometimes it seems to me, that human beings need threats and people who “foreseen” them. In every prophecy is always much space to interpet his own wishes and fears. I wonder if nostradamus ever thought of that aspect 😉

  49. ellen olenska

    http://www.prh.noaa.gov/ptwc/bulletins.htm

    Here is a site that tracks wave height via buoys around the world. considerably more reliable than lucid dreams. as of now nothing out of the normal.

  50. ellen olenska

    Since has now updated his site with yet more fear mongering, extending his warning for another 48 hours, I can only think that this is a person who gets some kind of sick thrill out of the power to strike fear in the hearts of millions of people. Assuming that he is not Cassandra, but just another conman, he should be in jail for this. A person goes to jail for yelling fire in a crowded theatre afterall. I see no difference.

  51. NervousBreakdown

    I have to admit that I have been somewhat alert to the entire situation. I mean, checking his site at least once daily simply because I have an abnormal fear of chaos/panic. He’s now published that it could happen today sometime due to dreams from CB on his site stating that it would happen on the same date as the dreams. Sunday. It’s an odd pattern. But I’ll be following it… ignorantly. Good points everyone. I hope the skeptics are right.

  52. ellen olenska

    Julien’s forum opens only at night and only to Europeans, who seem to buy this stuff. It is closed to the US, since the comments are rightly, justly critical. I repeat that this is a sick person who derives a feeling of omnipotence from creating fear and panic. He deserves to be arrested, charged and tried. shame, shame, shame.

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