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The Ancient Nukes Question: Were There WMD’s in Prehistoric Times?

There are a number of ancient city sites throughout the world today, existing in remnants of lost metropolises and societies from the past, that boast curious, history-altering potential that are both incredible and terrifying. It seems very startling, for instance, that places like Mohenjo-daro, a once prosperous ancient city in modern day Pakistan, seems to bear trace evidence of some kind of cataclysmic event in it’s historic past that, even by today’s standards, remains difficult to explain.

Granted, if we are to utilize modern conventions available to us in the present day, a number of the peculiarities about this particular location can (and do) bear remarkable similarity to the aftermath of a nuclear explosion. The problem, of course, is to attempt to reconcile with the anomalies of places like Mohenjo-daro by asserting that nuclear explosions–the likes of which have been seen previously only at places like Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII–could have occurred thousands of years ago.

 While I’m hesitant, as many probably should be, to say there is definitive proof of nuclear weapons being used in ancient or even prehistoric times, I don’t think it can be argued that nuclear events of some variety–perhaps even naturally occurring–did occur in Earth’s distant past. In my latest contribution to the ongoing series of anthologies released by New Page Books, titled Exposed, Uncovered and Declassified: Lost Civilizations and Secrets of the Past, I chose to address this rather touchy subject specifically. This is both due to the fact that the idea of ancient societies with advanced technology has always fascinated me, as well as the fact that I do think that a wealth of information exists that can be directly linked with prehistoric nuclear events.

One interesting example of this is an article that was penned by researchers Richard B. Firestone and William Topping, titled “Terrestrial Evidence of a Nuclear Catastrophy in Paleoindian Times.” The article appeared in Mammoth Trumpet Magazine‘s March 2001 issue, and recounted curiously high levels of radiocarbon data gathered from the Great Lakes Region of the United States. According to the authors, “The entire Great Lakes region (and beyond) was subjected to particle bombardment and a catastrophic nuclear irradiation that produced secondary thermal neutrons from cosmic ray interactions.” Indeed, it was a wide scale nuclear event dating back to Paleo-Indian times, and though the authors speculate that a supernovae might have been the cause for the event in question, it remains uncertain exactly what else could account for such an anomaly.

While this event (which I’ll argue does prove that nuclear events, albeit natural ones) could have occurred in our prehistory, places like Harrappa and Mohenjo-daro in modern day Pakistan present a number of problems that aren’t so easily reconciled. In addition to the presence of vitrified stone, the likes of which was discovered after being melted by the intense heat of the atomic weapons used in Japan during WWII, there have also been stories regarding incredible levels of radiation among the bodies of those found at Mohenjo-daro. Russian munitions expert and researcher Alexander Gorbovsky wrote in 1966 that the radioactivity in question was, in fact, as much as fifty times higher than average.

What could possibly account for such strange circumstances at the excavations of ancient city sites and other locations? Can we chalk all such instances up to being random acts of nature… which conveniently appear to have targeted specific metropolises of the ancient world? Must we consider that our ancestors could have indeed harnessed the power of the atom thousands of years before the Manhattan project performed its tests at Alamogordo, or could there be other scenarios (even otherwordly in nature) that are at play here?

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  • Anonymous

    It’s been a while since I focused on the claims of nuclear technology in our distant past. In my experience, there isn’t any evidence for the idea beyond the misreadings of the Mahabharata. Another crucial thing is that many of the apparent Mahabharata quotations and verses on-line are hoaxed. The real text is available to read and there’s no ‘Gurka’ or references to atomic energy. I’ve checked. Other claims were actually ‘channelled’ by a guy called Shastra last century.

    When Mohenjo-Daro is used as evidence for ancient Asian atomic warfare, it’s best to read further afield. In the academic literature, there’s no substantiation for irradiated skeletons. UNESCO make no mention of radiation in the area. IIRC the skeletons that were found were several feet above the original ground level of the town. This has been taken as evidence that they lived in the ruins at a much later date and were killed in a massacre. A lot of internet rumour and rhetoric in fringe-archaeology books…

    On a more sceptical basis, the idea that any ancient civilisation had atomic weapons and powered flight  doesn’t hold water. Take for example a nut and bolt? It’s hard to build machines without them. To fabricate these two items would need mines (for ore), smelting technology (extracting metal) and a history of advancement that led to the invention of steel and alloys. To make bolts would require steel lathes which would be reliant on the prior invention of other machines to fabricate them with. These don’t appear, fully formed, in a vacuum, but are outcomes of infrastructure, education, trade-routes and centuries of incremental development. There are other things like steel-presses, fuel manufacture and factories that should remain in evidence.

    None of these things are to be found today. It’s like the idea of a Model-T being invented without the Chinese inventing steel 1000s of years ago. Likewise, without the trade-routes of Dynastic Egypt, knowledge could not have been shared and spread to give Mr Ford the skills, education and technology.

    Some try to argue that all this evidence was wiped out in the alleged atomic conflict. In that scenario, skeletons, settlements and towns survive but everything else inconveniently vanishes. Others hide behind suggestions that alien technology could have been responsible. Again, none of these people and places existed in a vacuum. They had art and written language and none of them (trade partners etc) made the effort to record/write/depict the aliens. All that’s left is to cast doubt on the integrity of our history by alleging a cover-up.

  • Zecharia Sitchin wrote in one of his books (can’t recall which one right now, might have been “The Wars of Gods and Men”) that an alien race occupied Earth in prehistoric times, and that they waged nuclear war about 2600 BCE, the evidence of which can be seen in the Sinai Desert in a widespread scattering of blackened stones over many square miles.  Study of these stones do not support any conventional explanations (desert varnish, volcanoes, etc.) and they retain residual levels of radiation that would suggest a nuclear explosion that used a nearly pure form of weapons grade uranium.  I’m posting this just as another example of the claims of prehistoric use of nuclear weapons.

  • Micah Hanks


    Indeed, there are a lot of misreadings of ancient texts (as well as outright fabrications claiming to be others) that exist out there. One document I would recommend to a lot of people interested in ancient technologies and, in specific, the Vimanas mentioned in a number of the Indian epics, is an essay titled “A Critical Study of the Work ‘Vymanika Shastra’.” This essay was co-authored by a number of researchers with the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore, and shows not only that there is some rather damning evidence regarding the document itself, but also of the interpretation of the so-called “vimanas” solely as flying machines that may have been technological in nature.

    For similar reasons, while I won’t dispute the evidence of nuclear events in prehistory, I maintain the careful use of the term “nuclear event” in direct reference to these, rather than “nuclear blast sites,” etc. The story is an interesting one, and I always find it interesting to weigh the various elements and see if a substantial basis for such claims can be made at the end of the day; hence, I reference Alexander Gorbovsky’s mention of things like “radioactive skeletons.” But like you mentioned, despite Gorbovsky’s own credentials, he seemed to be one of only a few to have asserted that radioactivity in extreme quantities was discovered at these locations. I’m perplexed (and even a bit troubled) by the fact that so few academic resources exist that describe such things… and pouring through the ones available make no references to them.

    Topping and Firestone’s essay is, in my mind, one of the more interesting arguments presented for there being nuclear events in paleoindian times, and these do certainly provide evidence of such; but in this case, and as the authors suggest already, the likely culprits were either cosmic radiation or a supernovae. For me, this lends itself to question regarding the potential for future disasters of this kind… and whether things like coronal mass ejections from our Sun in the future may be capable of rendering electronic devices and other electrical infrastructure useless, courtesy of the resulting EMP shockwave as the sun’s energy bombards Earth’s geomagnetic field.

    NASA and NOAA have both expressed concern about this possibility, and its occurrence as soon as 2013. While such would hardly constitute the harmful potentials one might expect of a nuclear blast, I think the prospect unto itself is equally frightening, in many ways…

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the ‘Shastra’ article, it’s useful to have so many details in one place.

    I shied away from commenting on Firestone’s research because it’s rather
    debatable! Not ‘debatable’ in that loaded way that really means ‘BS,’
    but debatable in the sense people haven’t arrived at a consensus. The
    extinction events have not been linked to an impact event in any way
    that scientists are able to agree upon. Some even dispute that there was
    an ‘extinction event’ and that mega-fauna collapse could have
    ecological (disease, climate etc)

    I’m also glad that you haven’t taken offence at my post. Something
    instinctive takes over at the merest sniff of ancient technology and
    particularly the religio-political agendas behind many of the

    I’m not given to catastrophism or ‘Chicken-Littlism,’ but the CME threat seems like something we can bank on in the future.

    On the bright side, the probabilities of hitting us are very small.
    Let’s say the Sun is a grapefruit and the Earth is the ball from a
    ball-point pen *almost* a football field away. That’s a good way off!
    The last big one to hit us was in the late 19th Century and fried the US
    telegraph system as well as blowing transformers. All that from a
    ‘football field’ away – truly awesome and rare then, but they do happen.

    Hey, all the best next year Micah. I enjoy your show and hope it continues but I think C2C is on the horizon in your future.

  • Jlear8

    one thing which isn’t mentioned in this Article is the fact that it describes in some detail what occurred in those times in Hindi Texts from that period. Yes alot of what is said are accounts from people which had no knowledge of Technology and anything Technology based would be perceived as Godlike. I think that is one of Clarkes’ Laws