– Especially for Mrs. Kari Conklin, LLC –
Once upon a time… before Elijah glanced up at a lonely mesa at the edge of the Dead Sea…
- Long before Alexander Jannaeus constructed his fort in the sky,
- Even longer before King Herod the Great placed palaces inside that fort,
- And just a really, really long time before Elijah missed my dad as he stepped into that Swiss-built gondola and rode its cable up to explore those palaces…
Once upon a time, said the engineer, Masada might have been simply a few normal looking acres within a large plain.
I asked this engineer, my cousin, Donald Ingram, “How did most of that large plain go away and leave only a mesa stretching 450 yards into the sky?”
Donald replied, “Perhaps it all started under water.”
Before I got a chance to ask, “Like the Culligan Man?” he supplied engineer-type observations (which he noted are not unique with him):
- Water alone, however, cannot move a large stone.
- The density of rocks is about 2.5 to 2.9 times that of water.
- A rock immersed in water will buoy to an effective weight of only 1.5 to 1.9 times that of the same volume of water.
- When big rocks are accompanied by little rocks, and smaller rocks, and smaller grains in a mud-like mixture, the % of water content becomes smaller and smaller, and the density of the mud approaches that of solid rock.
- High density mud can almost “float” any rock.
- Mudslides consist of whole hillsides, even the whole side of a mountain.
- Mudslides mimic glaciers in their scouring action. They carve whole valleys.
- One mountain was documented to have slidden for miles at speeds of up to 100 miles/hour.”
Slid, slide, slud
I asked, “Could we say the mountain ‘slud’ — like Dizzy Dean announced the runner ‘slud into third’?” The engineer consulted his sliderule about slud, but as he looked up, I sensed my question sliding away.
The dam broke
“Perhaps the water so saturated the ground that the whole countryside was a mud flat held in place by a dam. When the dam broke, the mud floated away, all except the island of Masada. Perhaps.”
“All this destruction,” I pondered, “just because one little Dutch boy’s sister called him home for supper?”