[meteorite-list] Atwater ice hole mystery

From: (wrong string) ørn Sørheim <bsoerhei_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:18:24 2004
Message-ID: <200302012033.VAA13286_at_mail46.fg.online.no>

Hello Ron & List,
My original purpose when posting my first message on this
subject was to see if there was any images available of this
hole in Lake Tadd, and use this to compare with other incidents
of such phenomena in the cold parts of the globe.
To that I was partly sucessfull, as I got one picture by also
posting this to a usenet newsgroup.
And as I wrote there, the image is practically identical to images
I have of a similar phenomenon in a lake here in Norway, where I live.
I am therefore almost forced to conclude with the following:
They were made by the same process!

And since melting seems clearly to be out of the question here (I could go
into why this is the case, if there is interest), then it follows that
the Atwater case was not caused by melting.
Although my intention was not to prove/disprove, neither discuss the Atwater
case, this thread has turned into that. And since I was pulled into that,
I read all the sources I have been able to find, and I must admit that
I'm leaning more and more to the conclusion that a meteorite is of the more
plausible explanations, in fact it is my prime suspect at the moment.
Other facts going against melting: The Atwater hole was about 1 foot
in diameter, the 3-4 feet size mentioned in some reports seems to refer
to the dark area (melted snow) around the hole, probably a depression.
So it is of a complete different size than the melting holes in Minnesota
this year, which are _tens of meters_ in size. Remember also Atwater
happened in 1999, there were not melting conditions in that year, I have not
come across such reports. And the Atwater hole froze over very rapidly,
so nothing points to continued melting conditions.
You say that the police chief (Reed Schmidt) saying there 'was no
signs of a crash impact'. I interpret his wording just to mean something like:
'There were no objects/pieces (of debris) lying on the surface adjacent to the
hole, or clear signs of a crashing object, I see only a hole in the
ice (with cracks)'.
He keeps also saying to the press, in many newspaper articles, that he believed
that something fell down there, and he wanted to find out what it was. Further
he said:'The Tadd Lake is a mystery that demands further investigation and an
answer'. One of the divers, Neil Brady, said to the press after the dive:
'If anything could fall in at a high velocity, I'm sure it could be buried down
there. The bottom is soft, and you can only dig so deep'.
Remember that in the Bjurbøle case they found it at 6-8 m depth in the mud.
In the recent Shirokovskiy case it took them 47 years to find it down in
the mud..

You also write that: 'Shortly after this hole was found, several more holes
appeared, also bearing the same starburst-pattern. There were no reports of
any sonic booms associated with these new holes'.
These holes were not found on Lake Tadd, Atwater, but on lakes near Willmar
(location of the foremost newspaper in this chase), Fingers Lake and others.
These holes were smaller, I have myself seen hundreds of these in small areas
on local lakes, they are made by snow pressing down on the ice while melting.

Ice-formation specialist Charles Knight with the National Center for Atmospheric
Research in Boulder, Colorado, said according to Star Tribune:
'Knight acknowledged that characteristics of the Atwater ice hole don't fit
the usual pattern. The hole was much wider than those typically formed by snow
pressure, which often measure no more than an inch. Moreover, it's unusual
for holes to form this way in ice measuring 18 inches thick. I've never seen
it with ice that thick, I wouldn't say it's impossible, but it would take a
pretty special combination of circumstances, he said...'

It seems to me in general, that not enough time and resources was put into
the task of determining what was the cause of the hole, a meteorite or not.
Neither seems (the available) scientific knowledge at he moment up to the task
of determining what is the cause of this kind of hole.
Admittedly quite an effort must be put into digging into the mud to many meters
of depth, and not something one would expect of the Atwater community.
Sad that no one else seems to have picked up this case.

While writing this I hear about the sad fate of space-shuttle,
I offer my condolences,
Bjørn Sørheim

At 18:29 31.01.03 -0800, you wrote:
>> The Atwater hole could hardly have been made by melting since there
>> was a 'beautiful starburst-pattern' of large cracks around it.
>> There was also talk of a 'funnel' through the ice, that seemed to
>> have been made by some object. Plus the rattling boom.
>Sorry, if I sound skeptical, but I originally posted to this list
>four years ago when this hole appeared in the Minnesota lake suggesting
>it may possibly be a meteorite. And the fact there
>was one eyewitness who heard sonic booms prior the hole's discovery
>made it very intriging. I'm also very open to the fact that meteorites
>can punch holes though frozen lakes. But in this particular case,
>it didn't pan out.
>The original accounts of the hole included signs of melting
>at the hole, and there was even a statement by the Police Chief, the
>first person visit the hole and see it up close, that there was no
>signs of a crash impact at the hole. Shortly after this hole was
>found, several more holes appeared, also bearing the same
>starburst-pattern. There were no reports of any sonic
>booms associated with these new holes. There were suggestions made, even
>back then, that an active spring was the culprit. Divers did go into
>the water at the original Atwater hole, but they didn't find any meteorites.
>I don't think you can rule out warmer water underneath the ice as being
>the cause of the holes, very much like what is going on right now in the
>Minnesota lakes.
>Ron Baalke
>Meteorite-list mailing list
Received on Sat 01 Feb 2003 03:33:27 PM PST

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