Hess. Einstein, Schaeffer
, Shapley, Kallen...and others of high professional stature. He
avoided, on the other hand, associations, whether in person, name or ideas, with well-known marginal scholars and scientists.
abhorred Hoerbigger, avoided Charles Hapgood, skirted Donnelly, snubbed Donald Patten, missed seemingly Melvin Cook, ignored Beaumont and Baker, and contemned Daniken.
At the same time he
fostered disciples who lacked significant distinctions, degrees or reknown, who could be useful and, if necessary, discarded.
sought to be defended and substantiated, not to be appraised judiciously.
Though vastly egotistic, or perhaps because of it, he
never hesitated to ask scholars and publicists for help.
was fiercely dedicated, charismatic, prompt to a rebuttal, and tireless.
He was an excellent lecturer - imposing of appearance, calm, firm, of sonorous voice, and hardly dependent on script or notes. (His lectures have been listed by his heirs on his web site.) He gave only two courses in his lifetime.
A copy of the book went to Claude Schaeffer, who had already been alerted by Velikovsky to the controversy.
Claude Schaeffer was Professor at the College de France, École des Hautes Études, at Paris.
was fortified in his eminent post for having joined General Charles De Gaulle in England in World War II.
had independently invented a neo- catastrophism for the Aegean and Near East, based upon concurrent Earthquakes.
indicated general quantavolutions at the end of the major periods of the Bronze Age, and finally of the transition between the Bronze and Iron Ages (his 12th, our 8th century).
found that ancient Ugarit was finally destroyed and then abandoned at the end of the Late Bronze Age (Ugarit III).( -1200 ~-800 BCE)
Immediately below late Ugarit II was another destruction level, late Ugarit II.
established that it stemmed from an earthquake. (~- 850)
Below Late Ugarit I, Schaeffer
discerned a hiatus or break in occupation, which he
estimated to be of the order of 100 to 150 years. (His dating ~-1350 to -1200. )
Moreover, at every site described by Schaeffer
study, even where there is no evidence of physical destruction, there is a long hiatus or break in occupation of varying duration but estimated by him to have lasted 100 and 200 years.
These events are associated with ethnic movements similar to those which marked the end of the Early Bronze Age.
Egypt was invaded by the Hyksos; in Southern Mesopotamia the incursion of the Hittite King Mursilis I was followed by the fall of the First Dynasty of Babylon and the Kassite conquest; in Anatolia the Hittite Old Kingdom came to an end.
Schaeffer points out that there is evidence for epidemics and famines as far afield as Palestine, Asia Minor and Cyprus.
It seems to us that the downfall of Akhnaton may have been caused by the failure attributed to his
One God to forestall general natural disaster.
For the next general upheaval noted by Schaeffer
occurred during the Amarna period, during the reign of Akhnaton (Amenhotep IV).
synchronised these events with the earthquake which destroyed Late Ugarit II.
found no evidence for attributing these final destructions to natural causes and inclined to see in them the handiwork of the "Sea Peoples" (We shall be reshaping the phenomenon of the so-called Peoples of the Sea in due course below.)
On page 561 of his
writes of chronological complexities encountered in his
In concluding his
epitomized: "Our inquiry has demonstrated that these repeated crises which opened and closed the principal periods...were caused not by the action of man. Far from it - because, compared with the vastness of these all-embracing crises and their profound effects, the exploits of conquerors and all combinations of state politics would appear only very insignificant.
The philosophy of the history of the antiquity of the East appears to us singularly deformed" namely, by describing the past of nations and civilizations as the history of dynasties, rather than as a history of great ages, and by ignoring the role that physical causes played in their sequence.
to the exclusive club of one person - "the almost superhuman enterprise of unraveling the manifold ramifications of the recent tribulations of this planet was not committed all to one scholar.
insists that while his
accord with Schaeffer
is nearly miraculous, it does not extend to the calendar of absolute dates.
All of these correlations of objects, style, rituals, writing, measures, apparel and jewel had to place Ugarit (Ras Shamra) in the eighth or ninth century, except that Ugarit was forcibly placed according to Egyptian and misconnected Mycenean chronography in the fifteenth and fourteenth centuries. There was simply no way out of these contradictions for Schaeffer nor the whole archaeological profession.
reads Velikovsky's Work
Not until 1956 did acknowledgment and praise of Schaeffer's
grand work occur to Velikovsky
, and this was by way of sending Schaeffer
a copy of his work on catastrophes in the Earth Sciences, Earth in Upheaval.
replied in a four-page densely written letter, expatiating its merits: "I finished reading your book with the greatest interest and much profit." We have also located the presentation copy itself at the Cyprus-American Archaeological Research Institute
where the Schaeffer
library is held. Soon thereafter, Schaeffer was given a copy of Worlds in Collision and read that thoroughly as well.
Both books are extensively marked in Schaeffer's
hand, nearly on every page.
Most of these markings consists of single lines drawn along one margin of the page, as one would do in the process of reading.
We decided to interpret these lines as representing a favorable attitude of Schaeffer
towards the ideas contained in the passages so enhanced.
We think that this decision is correct, as reactions of doubt, or opposition on the part of Schaeffer
are clearly marked by other means.
These vertical lines should by no means be taken to mean full intellectual support, but rather that the contents in question were deemed important enough to be stressed for remembering and further reflection and also, to be found easily upon perusing again the book.
In most cases they are seen as interesting to Schaeffer
in themselves (facts he
may not have been of aware of before, or along the lines of which he
may have previously reflected himself) and visibly, as possibly providing support to Schaeffer's
own theses and queries.
The reading of Worlds in Collision appears almost as a dialogue between Schaeffer
and the author, as the marginalia are very numerous.
Of 389 pages, there are 132 instances when a page bears signs of a "favorable" attitude of the reader towards the material (as defined above).
In 11 cases, he
enjoins himself to "look-up" certain elements, presumably for verification or for further research.
In 15 instances, he
expresses doubt; in 10 instances, his
attitude seems to be of opposition, but most of the time these are expressed as irritation towards exaggerations, flights of extra-scientific fancy, and the like. (I attach a copy - probably afterwards recopied - in his
handwriting, of his
letter that was written after his
reading of the book.)
Schaeffer's reading of Oedipus and Akhnaton gives us only a few marginal notations, eleven favorable for looking up, 4 doubts and 2 in opposition. Ages in Chaos, and Ramses II and His
Times do not give us any marginal notations.
It is most likely that he
had read other copies of them.
The relationship of the two men met a crisis when Velikovsky
sent Schaeffer his
reconstruction, not of the period through El Amarna, but the Iron Age, when he
swung Ramses III down to the Fourth Century from the Twelfth, an eight-hundred-year move that was too much for Schaeffer
True to his own lines of research in Stratigraphie Comparée, Schaeffer consistently stresses mentions of "catastrophes of a global character in historical times" and anything mentioning earthquakes.
is sympathetic to any quote of Cuvier, whom he
obviously regards highly.
also stresses anything mentioning shifts of global axis, realignment of the orientation of religious buildings, etc. Clearly, the idea of an exoterrestrial cause to said global catastrophes intrigues him and he
at the very least leans towards its acceptance.
Arguments in favor of such a thesis are almost all stressed.
(whose claim to fame rests in the discovery of the most ancient tablets in alphabetic writing) never misses marking mention of the loss of the literary record caused by upheavals and catastrophes.
The doubts expressed by Schaeffer
are as consistent as his
does not like any attempt at bringing Atlantis together with Crete.