A Soviet scientist has suggested that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, not by fire and brimstone as recounted in Genesis, but by a nuclear blast set off by invaders from space.
The Soviet News Agency, Tass, transmitted yesterday in factual style the speculation by M.Agrest, a physico-mathematician, as it appeared in a “Literary Gazette” article. Dr. Agrest suggested that Lot’s wife, who was turned into a pillar of salt for looking back at the burning cities in the Biblical account, was actually petrified when she disobeyed a warning not to linger in the area.
He suggested that the earth might have been visited by space travelers who landed at the Baalbek Terrace, a platform of huge stone slabs in the Anti-Lebanon Mountains of Syria. Dr. Agrest noted that there has never been a satisfactory explanation of the Baalbek Terrace which he said might have been built by the invaders as a launching platform.
He noted also that the area is not far from the Libyan desert where there have been found glassy bits called tektites. These contain radioactive isotopes of aluminum and beryllium which, the Russian scientist said, were at least a million years old and products of extremely high temperatures. He said the tektites might be traces of the spacemen’s atomic missiles.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.