Darwin was a genius in his time. Young inquisitive years were spent, short bed cramped, on the salty survey barque H.M.S Beagle. The reward was hero status on his return to foggy London in 1836. Charles’s exciting observations of mysterious jungles and misty Brazilian mountain ranges led glamour to his jolting conclusions.
Against this rallied Bishop Usher’s crusty thoughts on a “creation” confined to a five thousand year history of the world. Usher’s viewpoint became the subject of jokes amongst the cynical, sherry sipping Victorians. All was swept before the Darwin wunderkind of the age of reason. Together with Hutton and Lyle he revolutionized concepts on the age of the world and set in concrete what is now called Uniformitarianism. To this clique, slow inexorable time, with its miniscule snail like progress, genteelly explains all change in geology and biology. Suddenly the world was millions of years old.
But Darwin got it wrong. Today the Holy Grail of most school and university education demands evolution by Darwin’s natural selection. In the annals of modern science he has the impeccable status the bible once held before we became a, computer driven, science worshiping society. On a filming expedition to county Kent in England I thoughtfully absorbed his pristine country manor. It was like an iconic national shrine. The local Guinness swilling villagers would not hear a word against him. And rightly so. He was a man for his time.
But like most human grasps for certainty his admirable and once unique concepts have been shown to be dubious. Very dubious. Actually badly wrong. And like most dogmas they lurch on until their advocates have departed old and grey.
No doubt about it Georgiana McCrae was a high maintenance babe. But let’s leave that for awhile and splash into her history. She was the out of wedlock daughter of the Duke of Gordon, a real Scottish icon with a castle and the whole nobility bit. Unfortunately for Georgiana it was not the right century, ‘to be born on the wrong side of the blanket” as society put it. I mean imagine Prince Charles having to explain that sort of thing.
Georgiana was raised at the end of the terrible Napoleonic wars, when the only hope for an ambitious girl of fire was to go to the colonies. And Australia was the toughest colony of all. Particularly the newly formed Port Phillip settlement.
Yes, none of today’s nannied society. Lets cast the scene in 1840, the decade she came to Melbourne. In the late 1830’s its population was only a tad over 300. It was just prior to the chaotic gold rush era of the 1850s. Adventurers intent on quick money had not descended on the land of plenty. Instead a hardy lot of ambitious pioneers, mainly in search of independence and cheap land, came with a determination to forge ahead. The later ‘Gold rush’ was to radically change Melbourne and the McCrae’s thinking. But in the 1840s they had ‘smelly’ sanitation, roughshod buildings and a decided lack of refinement. Early Melbourne was a rough diamond and to Georgiana, bringing up 5 children, it was tough going. A lass in search of a future had only the prospect of cheap land and a hard working husband to brighten their fortunes. No rich middle class to sell stocks, bonds and real estate investments to.
Georgiana had married Andrew McCrae in Scotland in 1930 and we get the feeling, from her diary, that he never came up to her romantic childhood dreams. She refers to him always as Mr. McCrae and one can glean an aloofness from him which we suspect grew over the years . He is rarely praised. Still even today it is near impossible to get a praising wife and just quietly (shhh) a diary is a nice place to air your complaints without the vitriol of direct confrontation. I might start one myself.
Andrew and Georgiana came to Australia in 1839 (Sydney) and soon realized their fortunes lay in Melbourne or Port Phillip as it was known . We learn from her dairies she was a finicky soul, often complaining of headaches (when Andrew was around). Nevertheless, she was a highly talented artist and relentless domestic manager. Not one built ,perhaps, for the pioneering life but game enough regardless. They lived in Melbourne for a few years then in 1845 decided to build a series of shacks in what was to become our beloved McCrae.
This is where her real life’s adventure begins. Georgiana McCrae packed up in the ship “Midge” and sailed to Arthur’s seat whilst Andrew roughed it along the coastal tracks by horse. Andrew had by this time half built the original shacks which you can inspect to this day. They are well worth the visit despite being ritzed up for the tourists. Included in the outhouses are what she calls her “University of Arthur’s Seat”. Here she dutifully taught the children a remarkable spectrum of skills from languages, Greek and Roman history, to maths and of course her beloved art.
And this is where a fascinating part of the tale begins. She befriended members of the local Bunurong tribe who numbered some 300. Amongst them she sported a few very close mates. In particular was Ben-Benjie who she often went spear fishing with around the rocks and beaches . They even gathered wild raspberries together. The local Bunurong were frequent visitors and there is even a picture drawn by her son of a Corroboree held at their house. Many of her sketches featured these brethren of the bush. We learn such fascinating gems as the Bunurong’s fondness for possum meat as against Kangaroo.
But of course Georgiana McCrae could not but help but getting involved in their local love trysts and she even hid one of the young Bunurong girls who had run away from her husband for a more suitable lover. Nothing much changes. An endearing trait was the universal appeal of her piano playing and the local Bunurong would often gather around to hear her play. Her famous piano still lives in the house for all to witness.
We must never forget Georgiana’s reigning passion for art. By the time she left Scotland she had a fine reputation as a painter of miniatures. At one stage she even entertained the idea of making a living from her craft. Ah! but the family forbade it as undignified and Georgiana acquiesced. I can’t quite imagine Janine Daddo succumbing so easily. There would of been hell to pay. But these were different times.
“walk dry foot from our side of the bay to Geelong”. It was a Kangaroo grazing ground. He quotes that,”long ago, in a night of great tempests, the trees blew down and a great sea rushed in through the heads at Portsea. The land sank under earthquakes and the water became deep and void, just as it is today”
She notes Governor Batman also added the aboriginal tradition that the Yarra once flowed along the Carrum swamps and came out in Westernport bay. What a great catastrophic event this must of been . Thanks Georgiana for your fascinating diaries.
Imagine giant wombats the size of a Rhinoceros (Diprotodon) roaming the Peninsula. Worse massive man eating kangaroos (Procptodon) sending you scuttling in terror as they roamed the countryside in packs. Or the lone marsupial lion (Thylacoleo carnifex) carrying off your newborn baby. Aboriginal mythology is rich in such stories and tells of a time when they shared Australia with these savage predators. One such legend from the Murrumbidgee River tells how, the cunning hunter Wirroowaa, with the help of the great white spirit, had defeated these giant Kangaroos that had slaughtered many of his tribe.
The existence of these huge creatures is testified to by the giant fossilized bones of these extinct mega fauna. From Lake Eyre, the Menindee lakes on the Darling River, Lake Mungo near Mildura, Cuddie springs along the Queensland border, the Narracort caves near Mount Gambia, at Keilor and Romsey near Melbourne their bones are to be found in abundance. I have no doubt that somewhere on the Mornington Peninsula hides a fossilized outcrop waiting to be discovered. These remains generally seem to be found near river beds and springs which is a similar position to the discoveries of extinct mastodons (elephants) in the United States along the Mississippi river.
But what happened to the Australian Megafauna? Again we return to Aboriginal mythology but also cleverly combine it with the latest scientific revelations and find ourselves coming to startling conclusions.
At the turn of the 18th century the ground beneath the city of Paris, France began to yield fossilized fragments and whole skeletons of animals which defied explanation by current theories. The fossilized animals, which were perplexing for both their scale and their type, were brought to professors of the prestigious universities and the Garden of Plants, but the bones remained in piles without identification with any known species. Meanwhile, the builders’ and the miners’ spades were daily unearthing the mysterious remains in French neighborhoods.
This lucky country doesn’t know what it’s like to live in constant terror! But in other eras few large towns were built near the vulnerable coast for fear of murderous, ravaging, brutalised pirates. Every old coastal town had its nest of armoury and fortifications ready to defend against marauding pirates and raiders.
The forts of Port Phillip’s Point Nepean and Sydney’s North Head are fine Victorian era samples. Earlier, the Vikings were but one of a veritable horde who through the ages have raped, pillaged and destroyed whenever driven by desperate or greedy circumstance! The Vikings pitilessly raided the English, Irish and Mediterranean coastlines in search of women and plunder.
Lockheed Lightnings were abandoned in Greenland in 1942. Fifty one years later Patrick Epps reclaimed them 250 feet under the ice cap! But this very feat revealed that the layers of ice were not annual, as is presumed by modern science.
Each layer was a reflection of ice melt boundaries after each storm. Ice core studies from GISP, Camp David, Vostok and all others, rely on the paradigm of one layer equals one year. All isotopic and chemical analysis assumes this fundamental delineation.
The revealing quote comes from expedition organiser Richard Epps. He puzzlingly remarked
Who told you one layer equals one year. We dug down through fifty years of time and found thousands of layers in 250 feet.
Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth. The Katabotic winds howl around it’s gale thrashed coast. But once its green valley’s were filled with thriving Glossopteris Pine and Beach forests. How do we know this?
“Scott of the Antarctic” was the first to discover tell tale fossils on the Beardmore Glacier in 1912. Since then Petrified tree stumps and leaves, bones of dinosaurs, marsupials and fossil rich coal has been discovered in its, now, hostile environment.
According to classic geology, this previous lush age thrived millions of years ago in the
Permian age. The shifting Antarctic continent, inexorably plodding at millimetres per year, gradually moved into icy hibernation. The flora and fauna were iced over, slowly fossilized and left to slumber. Just as in Greenland and Canada with their fossil forests!
Antarctica desert but 3KM thick ice sheet?
But wait! This formation of a three kilometre thick ice sheet is no meagre feat. Antarctica contains ninety percent of the world’s ice, yet some of Antarctica’s valleys are the driest places on earth. Antarctica is technically considered a desert.
Incredibly little snow falls in the interior (five centimetres per year rain equivalent) where the ice sheet is considerably thicker. Katabotic snow storms reside only on the coast where the thinner ice. Contradiction? Nevertheless, classic Geologists argue that, eons of time can explain away these ice sheet anomalies.
Earthquakes are natures deadliest killers! Some four thousand years ago the civilizations of the world were obliterated by a series of events that reshaped civilization.
A catastrophic earthquake storm totally buried and destroyed cities throughout the middle east. Men, women and children were decimated and famine and plague curiously attended this civilization collapse! Doubt this? Then listen to English archaeologist Katherine Kenyon, excavator of both Jericho and Jerusalem:
The final end of the early Bronze Age civilization came with catastrophic completeness. Jericho was probably completely destroyed. Every town in Palestine that has so far been investigated shows the same break. All traces of the early Bronze Age civilization disappeared.
Siberia, Alaska, Malta! Three mass slaughter sites! Sites littered with carcasses and skeletons captured in violent death throes. Some are petrified as rocks(Malta), some are preserved in ice(Siberia), some are surrounded and invaded by limestone(Hot Springs – Dakota). Others entombed in Bitumen(La Brea-L.A.) and peat Bogs(Snowmass- Colorado). Many are impeccably preserved whilst the bulk are shattered, dismembered and rolled(Gibraltar) by forces so violent and unseen today that we are naive to their mysterious powers!
These extinct species met with an instantaneous and horrific death. Although man was in at the death his hand was rarely involved. The modern theory of overhunting, careless burn offs, starvation and plague were never more than a trifle in this overwhelming picture of the mass destruction of species both large and small. And the last extinction occurred not so long ago and it is etched in modern mans mythology!
So what is Baalbek Lebanon all about? If the people of Baalbek feared Baal alias Jupiter could this sky god have driven their destiny? Both myth and legend go much further to support the malignant role of Jupiter and other planets in Mankind’s affairs. Remember Jupiter goes by many names. In ancient Phoenicia he is Baal of our Baalbek. In Israel he is Zedek. In Egypt Amon. In Iran he is Mazda. In Babylon Enlil. In India he is Shiva. In Greece the mighty Zeus king of the Gods. Jupiter in all cases is the supreme sky god. The supreme planet.
In all these cases he is blamed for hurling massive thunderbolts against the Earth and causing earthquakes. Could this of happened? Today Jupiter/Baal hurls thunderbolts at its moon Io. Thus interplanetary discharges do occur. In a near approach of Jupiter perhaps Earth too was subject to the sky god’s wrath?
The ancient Greek historian, Homer in the Odyssey, specifically blames Baal / Zeus / Jupiter for hurling thunderbolts and destroying Troy with earthquakes. Baal shattered the Earth. That is why the citizens of Baalbek feared and worshiped this Sky God. They trembled under his destruction and even offered human sacrifice to calm him.