Ancient Cataclysms / Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

Hosted byGeorge Noory

Ancient Cataclysms / Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

About the show

Tenured faculty member at Boston University, Robert M. Schoch, Ph.D., earned his doctorate in geology and geophysics at Yale University in 1983. In the first half, he updated his work on how coronal mass ejections triggered cataclysms and destroyed past civilizations, as well as his research into the Sphinx and other ancient sites. Our sun is much more unstable than people realize, he suggested, and years such as 3372 BC, 1814 BC, 660 BC, 774 AD, and 1859 were marked by major outbursts. At the end of the last Ice Age, he added, there was a huge event, around 9700 BC "that wiped out...early civilizations." We have, he continued, "systemically underestimated...the influence of our sun on other events on Earth." 

These events can destroy the ozone layer and trigger catastrophic earthquakes and flooding, he said, and there is evidence that ancient people sought refuge underground and made pictographs of what they saw. Schoch talked about his investigations into the megalithic Gobekli Tepe site in Turkey, dating back 12,000 years. New research indicates that some of the carved symbols on Gobekli pillars correlate with hieroglyphs and may be among the first known sources of writing. He also shared his intriguing theory that the human head of the Sphinx had been re-carved from an earlier version that was a depiction of the Egyptian goddess Mehit, a lioness. If the human head was original, he explained, it would appear far more eroded than it is and match the rest of the body.


Adventurer and journalist Jeff Belanger is obsessed with the unexplained and leads a very haunted life. In the latter half, he discussed his latest adventure, climbing Africa's Mt. Kilimanjaro, and how it changed him spiritually. Belanger said he was inspired to make this difficult hike as a way to honor his brother-in-law Chris who had passed away from cancer at age 44. Chris' death was a kind of wake-up call for Jeff, who embarked on the climb as a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and to prepare, he studied Swahili. The journey up the mountain is arduous not only because of the cold but because it's hard to breathe at the higher elevations as the air is so thin.

Belanger said along some of the higher altitude sites, there were plaques where previous climbers had died, such as from lightning strikes. They were up so high that at times clouds passed right through them. As he neared the summit (some 19,000 ft high), he had a kind of spiritual epiphany. Thinking he might not be able to continue the journey, he saw the first rays of sunrise, and that encouraged him to go on. He felt the presence of God, the spirit of the mountain, and a sense of Chris, looking at the sunrise with him (view related photos). Belanger also chatted about some of his paranormal research, including the 'Roland Doe' Exorcist case, the Amityville Horror House, and his work on various TV shows.

News segment guests: Lauren Weinstein, Steve Kates

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