[meteorite-list] Peppered Mammoth tusks

From: Jason Utas <meteoritekid_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 11:29:03 -0800
Message-ID: <93aaac890712151129k1752cdd4na0d32e3eff82fc8e_at_mail.gmail.com>

Hello E.P., All,

> First off, West was looking for bones from the comet
> impact of 10,900 BCE, and found the peppered tusks.
> When radiocarbon dated these tusks turned out to be
> from 31,000 BCE, and not from the 10,900 BCE comet
> impact.


> Second, there is no terrestrial process that accounts
> for the isotopes found in the iron pellets.

I would change that sentence to: "...there is no known natural process
that accounts for..."
I think it's quite possible that they're man made; I haven't seen the
trace element data for them, so it's hard to say, but seeing as they
haven't noted any iridium, etc, I see no reason why bits of
nickel-iron could not have been introduced in an unnatural manner.

> Third, this was not the airburst of an iron. Were
> molten iron droplets reported at Sikote Ailin?

No. Krinov makes no mention of them, nor does anyone else.
The real problem with the theory that it's a Sikhote-like impact is
the fact that larger fragments would travel farther than smaller ones;
if small ones are moving quickly enough to burrow into tusks, etc,
larger fragments would be moving more quickly, with enough speed to
probably travel through the animals themselves. Also, the scarring
would not be on the top of the tusks, but rather one one side.

> Fourth, this was not the entry of small irons. A field
> of droplets from the entry of small irons has never
> been reported to my knowledge, so I'm pretty sure the
> physics of it precludes it. These droplets appear to
> be larger than the micro-meteorites collected from
> gutters and pans, and they were red hot when they hit
> the bones.

Or at least we assume that they were hot when they hit...nothing has
been proven yet except for the fact that there are small pieces of
iron on tusks.

> Fifth, as far as crushing bones goes, we don't know
> the penetrative force required for molten iron
> droplets. No comparative work has been done on modern
> cattle bones, and this will require the use of a
> magnetic accelerator, not a shotgun.

Or a sort of cannon should do it. Red-hot shot was used as a
weapon....quite a while ago, I believe.

> Sixth, only limited work has been done on the droplet
> field around Barringer Crater, so we don't know the
> distribution of droplets and blast force that occurred
> there. In the mammoth tusk case, I think that the
> pellets followed a ballistic trajectory, not a linear
> one.

Well, Nininger mapped the field exceedingly well, so this is untrue.
We know the exact distribution of the droplets, and even the direction
in which the wind was blowing on the day that the impact occurred.
I'm not sure about what you're trying to say here. The pellets only
occur on the top-side of the bones in question, so there's no
possibility of a real ballistic trajectory, as they would occur
primarily on one side of the tusks/bones if that were the case.
That said, everything in the closed earth system (at least in nature)
follows ballistic rules, assuming that it has an initial velocity to
work with), due to gravity (9.81m/s^2 downward), which is the part
that confuses me somewhat. Linear vs. ballistic? Sounds like
semantics to me.

> No mention was made of where these mammoth tusks came
> from. I think there's a fossil field of irons out
> there waiting to be recovered. A big one.

I don't. Why would tiny droplets of iron pelt these animals, and yet
nothing bigger do any damage? Speaking in terms of physics, the
bigger pieces should have more inertia and thus travel farther and
faster than the smaller fragments. Seeing as no large fragments made
it to the animals (assuming, of course, that we really are talking
about an impact here), I see no reason to assume that there are any.

> Seventh, note again the large spikes in the radio
> calibration curve. Spikes at 10,900 BCE (comet),
> 31,000 BCE (iron); there is a third spike around
> 44,000 BCE. I wonder if this last might be related to
> the Barringer impact.

Who knows....it could be due to just about anything, but I'm failry
sure that Canyon Diablo was too small of an impact to produce such

> Could large impacts release neutrons regardless of the
> type of impactor? Or is there some extra-solar
> process, say the impact of an iron with a neutron
> star, which might send material and neutrons our way,
> including material from the Oort Cloud? What accounts
> for this increased C14? Impacts from the same debris
> stream with our Sun? Nothing reported there that I
> know of.

Nothing's going to shear anything out of the gravitational pull of a
neutron star...well, maybe a black hole, but beyond that...no.
The Oort cloud is dust and ice...
Increased C14? Probably an increase in solar radiation...if there's
enough CO2 in the atmosphere, that really could do the trick.

> You know, its strange to me. Most here are focused on
> this "smaller" iron impact and the peppered tusks,
> instead of on the comet impact which killed about 90%
> of the people living in North America at the time.
> Most died due to hunger. But then, there's not likely
> to be any strewn field from that, and nothing to trade
> except impactites.

Right...if one believes in such an impact, I'm sure they take it into account.
Your impact would require the creation of a probably 10-20 mile
diameter crater, which doesn't seem to exist...the fact is that we've
found craters 1-2 miles across that are millions of years old, and yet
we haven't found this < 100,000 year old monster of a hole in the
ground. Such a crater would be a sore thumb, with impactite strewn
about for hundreds of miles, not to mention the hole itself,
undoubtedly little eroded since its fairly recent formation.
Where did you say it was again?


> Good hunting,
> E.P. Grondine
> Man and Impact in the Americas
> and "Amazing Stories"
> PS - Where I was raised, "Oh Christ" is not considered
> blasphemy - it is usually used in exasperation. Thus I
> had a tough time understanding those who so vocally
> complained about my post "Oh Christ ... what the hell
> is this". My apologies to those I offended.
> Exasperation is expressed by "Aiyee!" in Shawnee.
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Received on Sat 15 Dec 2007 02:29:03 PM PST

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