main menu

Johan Bert Kloosterman

Home About Services Testimonial Contact

Johan (Han) Bert Kloosterman

Johan Bert



Once they beheaded me - or so they said,
Their wording though left me a little mad,
For what they told you is so clearly wrong
I'm living on now as bebodied head": (unedited quatrain)

1931 Johan Bert Kloosterman, names variant Han Kloosterman, geologist - Picture: Jéssica Kloosterman . Contact: 

1959 Thesis: Le Volcanisme de la région d'Agde, Hérault, France. Univ. of Utrecht, 1959. I have worked for mining companies, during four years in West Africa, then in Brazil, mostly in alluvial prospecting: cassiterite, diamonds, gold. 

1966 Main paper: A Tin Province of the Nigerian type in SW Amazonia, Brazil. Internat. Tin Council, London, 1966. 

1975-1978 Founder, editor and publisher of Catastrophist Geology, a magazine dedicated to the study of discontinuities in Earth history. Six issues appeared before it went broke. There were never more than 450 subscribers, of which about 60 institutes and geology departments. 

1983 With a slump in the Brazilian mining sector, my career in alluvial prospecting came to an end in 1983. Back in Holland I studied parapsychology, hypnosis and hypnotherapy, and Mesmerism.

1987: Waarom Ging het Mesmerisme Ondergronds? BRES 187: 3-11. 1987. 

1992 During the Columbus-year I organised, in Utrecht and Amsterdam, an exposition on the cultural history of the Amerindian hammock. The design of that hammock is based on the ellipsoïd, and can impossibly have been a chance discovery. Indications point to an Olmec "Archimedes" as discoverer. 

1993 In 1993 I started to make an intensive study of psychosomatic disease, not planned by myself. I got cancer, and by the end of the year was pronounced a terminal patient. I travelled to Rio de Janeiro in order to die in the vicinity of my ex-wife and three children. 

1994 Four months later, after having lost 35 kg and being dead-or-almost, the process reversed, and in September I was tumor-free. 

1995 A year "after I died" I discovered that both cause and cure had been 100% psychosomatic: joblessness - divorce - cancer, a causal chain which must be very common indeed, as I have witnessed several cases in my surroundings. 

1998 Towards the end of 1998 I read, in Walter Alvarez, 1997: T.rex and the Crater of Doom, about the charcoal layer on the K-T boundary (65.000.000 years BP), and I became a geologist once more. 

1999 Early in 1999 I returned to Holland and to geology, working on the Usselo horizon, a charcoal layer of Alleroed age (13.000 years BP), and the catastrophe(s) that caused the end of the last Ice Age. - The Usselo horizon, a worldwide charcoal layer of Alleroed age. Symp. New Scenarios of Solar System Evolution, Univ. of Bergamo, Italy. 1999. 

2000 - De laag van Usselo, de Wereldbrand en de Verdwijntruc. BRES 201: 63-74. 2000

Catastrophist Geology

Circulated among the participants of the Charles Lyell centenary symposium, London. CATASTROPHIST GEOLOGY A magazine to be dedicated to the study of discontinuities in Earth history

Uniformitarianism holds that the processes governing the Earth's organic and inorganic past were the same as those apparent today, and that they operated then at the same intensity and rate as now. When they consider this definition thoughtfully, many geologists realize that they do not really agree with it. Too many events in the Earth's history do not fit a uniformitarian system - enormous calderas, plateau basalts, ice ages, alpine nappes, bone breccias, the sudden appearance of diversified life at the close of the Precambrian, the abrupt extinction of dinosaurs and ammonites, and so on. In a uniformitarian system the sedimentological and paleontological records are contradictory; if we assume uninterrupted sedimentation, we have to accept catastrophes in evolution; if we do not accept catastrophes in evolution we have to postulate major gaps in the sedimentary record. We can of course, by retrograde extrapolation over millions of years, relate geological features to the cumulative effects of now active small-scale agents such as the raindrop and the sandgrain. Without this method of research geology cannot exist. But to state that it is the only one we are allowed to use without becoming "unscientific" is clearly reductionism, a nineteenth-century spook haunting geology just as it haunts history or psychology. Uniformitarian thinking has led to the assumption that discontinuities always require "a few million years" of gradual change between two more stable states. This assumption overlooks two facts. First, since we are using a time-scale a million times greater than Bishop Usher's, a catastrophe might last a million years. Second, weak and uniform causes can lead to sudden discontinuities, as anybody can observe by placing a pan full of milk on a stove. We should investigate the geological evidence for or against the relative suddenness of discontinuities, and not simply assume for them a time-scale which satisfies our preferences or assuages our hidden fears. In non-English speaking countries, the term actualism has been preferred over uniformitarianism. It implies that "actual" (present-day) causes are sufficient to explain what happened in the past, but not necessarily that they have operated then with the same intensity as now . But what are actual causes? Two centuries ago, when scientists did not accept the existence of meteorites, the astrobleme hypothesis would have been unactualistic. During the last century Lord Kelvin, not acquainted with radioactivity, was right - actualistically speaking - when he maintained that the Earth could not be more than 100.000 years old. In this century, geophysicists were also right - from an actualistic standpoint - when they said that Wegener's hypothesis was an impossibility: seafloor spreading was only measured after its existence had been suggested by the magnetic zebra-striping of the oceanfloors. We even see here an inversion of the actualistic method: investigation of the geologic record has led to the discovery of plates and plate movement. The past as the key to the present. These examples illustrate that actual geological causes must be discovered and divulged, meet the consensus of geologists, and not be forgotten again. At a given moment in the history of geological investigation, actual causes are divided into at least two groups: the known and accepted, and the unknown. Actualism as a method is a function of our ignorance and our prejudices, and can only be applied to a restricted number of phenomena. Applied uncritically, it has done extensive harm. The examples also illustrate that geologists are overly afraid of physicists; meanwhile they continue to adhere to a natural philosophy which physics has discarded since Einstein's youth.

If there is an inconsistency between geological features and accepted physical laws, we should not wait for the physicist's approval, but should notify them that there is something missing in their system. Both geology and physics could benefit thereby. Catastrophism admits the occurrence of discontinuities in Earth history - because we observe them now and because we are forced to infer them from the geological record. Even such Lyellian agents as the raindrop and the sandgrain often do their work in discontinuous manners: the catastrophic erosion after a lake-spill for example, or sedimentation by turbidity current. In spite of our proclaimed uniformitarianism, catastrophist hypotheses abound - the capture of the Moon, astroblemes, bursts of cosmic rays, natural nuclear reactors, the breaking up and the collision of continents. When proposed by geologists of non-catastrophist persuasion, such hypotheses are taken seriously, but when similar ideas are forwarded by less conditioned outsiders, they are regarded as evidence of lunacy simply because they violate uniformitarian dogma. Mainstream geologists often do not even try to formulate clearly their own ideas; while they are cheating, somebody relegated to the lunatic fringe may be exposing the fraud . Catastrophes do occur. The dinosaurs did die out - whether it took a million years or a day - either through the cumulative effect of continuous causes, actualistic or not, or through a unique, sudden, terrestrialor extraterrestrial event. Should such riddles ever be solved, the solutions will come from an inspired search for clues and not through application of the methods of medieval scholastics or nineteenth-century rationalists. "CATASTROPHIST GEOLOGY" will be devoted to the study of discontinuities in Earth history. Papers are invited on topics such as (in alphabetic order): alpine nappes, atmospheric history, the appearance of new life forms, astroblemes, astronomical influences, bone breccias, calderas, the capture of the Moon, climatic change, comet flybys, continental break-up, continental collision, earthquakes, extinction of life forms, guide fossils, historical catastrophes, the history of evolutionary thought, the history of geology, ice ages, lake spills, lunar volcanism, magnetic reversals, martian volcanoes, the Mesozoic-Neozoic boundary, meteor impacts, mudflows, natural nuclear reactions, the origin of life, orogenesis, the Permo-Trias boundary, the philosophy of geology, plate tectonics, plateau basalts, the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary, prehistoric catastrophes, pre-plate-tectonic crustal processes, regressions, sealevel changes, the survival of "living fossils" , tektites, transgressions, tsunamis, turbidity currents, volcanic eruptions. "CATASTROPHIST GEOLOGY" is intended to be of academic level, but it is a counterculture magazine which also wants to explore possible aspects of reality that have been kept outside the walls of Academe because of their clash with the reigning preconceptions of the scientific establishment. What scraps of Earth history might be preserved in myth and legend? Has evidence for a worldwide flood been suppressed, deliberately or unconsciously? Many millions of people accept Atlantis as a historical fact: must geologists tell them that they are hopelessly wrong? Is Velikovsky a charlatan or a genius, or both? The case for Ufo's has been reopened, this time by astronomers of repute: if aliens interact with mankind, what might be their role in Earth history? If telepathy and telekinesis occur, what are the implications for evolutionary theory? Can the claims of water and ore diviners be verified through scientific methods? Special issues will be devoted to such topics, giving space to both proponents and critics. It is intended to start with a quarterly journal, hopefully at a relatively low price - that is, if enough subscribers turn up. Ideas and suggestions are solicited, as well as criticism. Manuscripts are invited.

Han Doing Time

Quatrains by Han Kloosterman, Amsterdam 2013

Design & Layout by Jéssica Kloosterman, Rio de Janeiro

click here to download

The Overturning of the Earth / Reviravolta da Terra

Filme de Terêncio Porto / Carambolas produções

Um dos mais importantes Geólogos que o Brasil já conheceu. Nascido na Holanda, viveu mais de um quarto de século no Brasil. Um aventureiro como poucos, chega aos 80 anos com grande quantidade de livros e material publicado. Estudioso como poucos de fósseis e rochas de Rondônia, nos conta sua fantástica história. Se vc gosta de geografia, gostará de conhecer este sábio de conhecimento geográfico incalculável. Nesta página, vc assistirá ao filme a reviravolta da Terra, de Terêncio Porto. "A Reviravolta da Terra fala sobre a instabilidade das coisas, da vida, da Terra. Fala sobre viver e sobreviver. O geólogo Han Kloosterman viveu mais de 30 anos no Brasil, pra onde fugiu após desertar o exército holandês. Se tornou cientista por raiva ("já que os outros estavam falando besteira com certeza demais") . Apesar de toda Foto de Jessica Kloostermansabedoria acumulada em anos de aventura, a humildade perante os mistérios do universo e a perseverança em sua pesquisa parecem nortear sua realidade mais do que qualquer outro valor. Han Kloosterman foi garimpeiro na África, scout prospector em mineração na Amazônia, morou entre os índios, e sobreviveu a acidentes incluindo uma doença terminal. Kloosterman tem a ambição de virar Pajé. Passou 4 anos de sua infância, dos 9 aos 13, num país ocupado por tropas nazistas, e só foi entender que tratava-se de um estado de exeção anos depois. Hoje vive em Amsterdam, cidade que escolheu para dar andamento as suas pesquisas. Mas o que pesquisa Han? Ele está em busca de "diamantes" escondidos no meio de muita coisa que não presta. A Reviravolta da Terra conta um pouco desta história e versa sobre a possibilidade de se ter algum equilíbrio num mundo instável e sobre a fibra de manter-se sempre garimpeiro."

Johan Bert Kloosterman

Article published at The Cosmic Tusk website - click here

Uniformitarianism as an a-priori statement about what happened in Earth history is utterly idiotic: in science no a-priori statements should be made about subjects of investigation. Though it is difficult not to harbour implicit assumptions about the world we live in, it is exactly by making explicit one of those assumptions and then dropping it that scientific breakthroughs are made. By making an assumption explicit and then formulating it ex cathedra we construct a prison for our mind. As a hypothesis defended by James Hutton during the last decades of the 18th century uniformitarianism may sound original and daring, in the historical context of the neptunist-vulcanist controversy, and perhaps even Lamarck could be condoned for adhering to it as late as 1809. If after 1800 field evidence had been forthcoming substantiating the hypothesis, it could have been transformed, very cautiously, into a theory - though always subject to falsification by evidence to the contrary. But no such evidence came forth. Quite to the contrary, the hypothesis was rapidly falsified by the work of William Buckland, George Cuvier, Hugh Miller and many others, who presented a surabundance of field evidence from all over Europe and from outside Europe, from Devonian sandstone to Pleistocene sand, proving beyond doubt the importance of sudden and unusual events in Earth history. That Charles Lyell defended uniformitarianism in the 1830s, and that it was adopted, after Romanticism, as the leading doctrine by most academic geologists, meant a setback for science of more than a century. New discoveries between 1860 and 1980 were made in spite of it, and came mostly from outside geology: radioactive dating, continental drift, palaeomagnetism, astroblemes. A half-exception forms the discovery of Alpine nappes, generally accepted by geologists about a century ago. But then, there were always some geologists less dogmatic than others. Joseph Prestwich was an outspoken catastrophist, Eduard Suess less openly so, just like Marcel Bertrand, Louis de Launay, Pierre Termier (De Launay and Termier were not only leading geologists but also Atlantologists). Even so, the fact that palaeosols were found under nappes was passed under silence, except for the protests of Oulianoff (Nicolai, not Ivan Ilyits) and Tazieff, the only ones as far as I know who advocated the possibility of sudden emplacement. Actualism, the backward extrapolation of presently known and accepted processes, is a method we use, one amongst several. It is the easiest, and as such a temptation and a pitfall. To transform one restricted method into a holy virtue and let it, like the cuckoo's young, push the other chicks out of the nest, is no less idiotic than parroting Hutton's hypothesis over and over again, in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Actualism as a method should be applied with much caution. Actualism as a principle should never have existed. Catastrophist geology, the special study of discontinuities in Earth history, will be needed yet for some time to come, in order to restore a balance. Later it can be dropped, and our descendants will be able to study just Earth history, a succession of more or less quiet periods and sudden disruptions. After 1980 I see appearing, in titles of symposia, books and articles, nonsensical concepts such as catastrophist uniformitarianism. For such meaningless juggling with words I have no words, at least no printable ones. Derek Ager, a native English-speaker, coined "catastrophic uniformitarianism", and with that I heartily agree - but he didn't mean it like that. To prefer the simplest-sounding hypothesis over the best-fitting has had just as pernicious an effect in geology as in other fields of enquiry. Together with the statement to the contrary, that reality is always more complicated than we imagine, or can imagine, it gives a knife with two cutting edges in the hands of academic authorities too lazy to think. One authority, Leonard Krishtalka in his 1989 book Dinosaur Plots, shows himself to be full of spite after the K-T discoveries, very much like Ager. He sneers at the "impact buffs" and the "asteroid hoopla" (p. 26). But unlike Ager, who tried to sell us his opinions as scientific obtainments with Occam's razor in his hand, Krishtalka tries to force upon us these same opinions menacing us with Haldane's razor (p. 27): "I am wary of simple theories. They may have appeal, but one difference between nature and its interpreters is that nature is not simple." People, readers, scientists, researchers, throw your bloody razors on your kitchen middens, and don't trust anybody who brandishes them unparcimoniously or otherwise. And do not forget that even the "best-fitting" hypothesis is most paradigm-dependent. PS. Speaking of perniciousness, I come upon the anonymous "peer" review system. Anonymous should be the author(s) when submitting a manuscript, giving the editor and the reviewers the opportunity to judge that manuscript on its contents and not on the author's qualifications, titels, functions and fame. The reviewers should have the courage to sign their verdicts. Also seriously hampering research is the habit of leading scientific journals to "save space" by not printing the titles of articles in the bibliography. A short and succinct title is a nutshell summary of an article, and researchers need it for making the decision whether they have to read that article or not.