Minimalist wrote:why ancient peoples would make up stories about stuff falling from the skies and killing large numbers of people
I don't know. Why did the ancient Greeks make up stories about Zeus hurling thunderbolts?
Why did the Ancient Romans make up stories about their founders being put in boats as babies and cast adrift? Why did the Akkadians do the same? Why did the Jews? Your problem is that if you want to see everything as a cosmic impact you then have to explain all these other stories that the same peoples put out.
Two can play that game.
Zeus hurling thunderbolts is an easy one, min.
Whereby you yourself pretty much prove my points.
I would have examined it in detail in "Man and Impact in Europe".
As far as the babies in boats goes, it is usual for people to make up noble pasts for their leaders.
That they should use boats in many cases may perhaps indicate that these leaders came from marginal fishing peoples.
Or is there some Jungian explanation you would prefer to speculate on?
Since you are concerned with sources for the Bible and ancient Jewish history, here goes. My current working hypothesis is that
the Jewish peoples had their source in southern Ebla outliers, down by the copper sources. They allied with the Hyksos to provide
a communication route to the east of Egypt proper between them and the Nubian peoples to the south of Egypt.
But all of that is a long way from where my current research focus is.
Now it appears that your apparat for working with any oral corpus is only based on Biblical, Ancient Near Eastern, and late European examples.
Mine is not.
In general, please remember that if you are examining the development of myths,
it helps is you understand the actual events that occurred when those myths first started.