[meteorite-list] Exploding asteroid theory strengthened bynew evidence located in Ohio, Indiana

From: Sterling K. Webb <sterling_k_webb_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2008 02:23:16 -0500
Message-ID: <069401c8dcdd$a9e17f70$2346e146_at_ATARIENGINE>

Hi, Darren, Tracy, Elton, List,

    This is not a "scientific" pronouncement; it is
a press release written by a press agent and as such,
it is worthless. Press release science is generally

    It is a chaotic garble from an enthusiastic idiot, the
press agent. For example (just one, though there are
so many), it says the "diamonds, gold, and silver"
found in deposits in Ohio and Indiana were not
"pushed" there by glaciers but emplaced there by
a cosmic explosive impact, an impossible notion.

    Since gold and silver have low melting points, a
massive impact would vaporize them and there would
be gold and silver microspherules deposited over half
the continent. Indeed, these same people hypothesize just
such microspherules for other, more refractory stuff,
so this is a complete screw-up.

    The most famous diamond ever found in the US
was drilled out of a GLACIAL till in Eagle, Waukesha Co.,
Wisconsin. This 15.37-carat light-yellow diamond,
a rounded dodecahedral crystal, was found in 1867.
Bought by a local jeweler for $1.00, he re-sold it to
Tiffany's for $850. In 1889, it went to the Paris
International Exhibition and it eventually became the
property of a certain Mr. J. P. Morgan, who donated
it to the American Museum of Natural History down the
street from his house, where it was exhibited until, in 1964,
it was stolen by the famous "Murph The Surf" celebrity
bandit. It has never been recovered. And so it goes.

In 1853, diamonds were discovered in the California
gold fields in GLACIAL alluvial deposits. In 1869, in Idaho,
in the same conditions. In 1883, in Montana, in a GLACIAL
lake bed. In 1888, in Kentucky, in GLACIAL gravels. In Maine.
In Michigan. There are natural diamonds in Arkansas and
Colorado, the only diamonds NOT found in a glacial
context. Kimberlite pipes have been discovered elsewhere
but not explored.

Any material distributed by an impact would be widely
scattered, NOT concentrated in deposits. Identifying the
Ohio and Indiana diamonds as originating in Canada is
nothing new. We've known that for 60-70 years now.
The newly productive Canadian diamond mines were
found by tracing the locations of garnet finds from the
US into Canada, a favorite summer project of geology
grad students for fifty years (garnets are produced in
the same kimberlite pipes as diamonds).

On the face of it, the announcement sounds like idiocy.
They say, "The only plausible scenario available now
for explaining their presence this far south is the kind
of cataclysmic explosive event described by West's
theory." If they mean that glacial deposits can only be
found as far south as the glaciers themselves, they are
dead wrong. Melt floods carry materials, even big boulders,
great distances. Normal stream activity carries the lighter
stuff further (many isolated diamond finds are in stream
placer deposits).

The drainage basin of the Ohio river shows plentiful
evidence of this. There are glacial deposits in Kentucky,
which is further south than Ohio (in case they haven't
looked south across the river from Cincinnati lately).

This whole thing just gets sillier and sillier. These people
seem to be at a loss for logic. If there was an impact in
Canada that scattered gold and diamonds south, it would
have to excavate that ground where the gold and diamonds
are, so it couldn't have been when Canada was covered
by half-a-mile of ice, but, of course, that is exactly when
they say it did happen. Impossible. Flat impossible.

Firestone found some very strange isotopic anomalies
20 years ago. Since then he has thrashed about for an
explanation: supernovae, comets that travel at 3% of the
speed of light and impact the Earth; mammoths that are
killed by microscopic iron particles shot through the
Earth's atmosphere at 10,000 km/sec, black mats, bucky
balls, nanodiamonds, the Carolina Bays, and now, big
diamonds and gold.

It's pitiful.

There may or may not have been an "impact" or airburst
event in this general time frame. Some of these indicators
may or may not be markers of it. Certainly, many species
of mammals declined and died in a short time frame and
an impact may or may not have helped. But the case is
weak and diffuse, the evidence vague and disputacious.

We were just discussing Tunguska, which demonstrates
how little evidence can be left behind after a substantial
impact event. The last time this supposed impact was a
topic here, I did some calculation of the effect of a massive
airburst over the Laurentide Ice Sheet and gained a real
appreciation of how large an energetic event could be
absorbed by a half-a-mile-thick slab of ice, with hardly
a trace -- even a one-kilometer object airbursting would
only make a temporary glacial lake on the upper surface
of the ice cap. It's questionable whether an ice-cap
impact would have anything more than transient effects.

The discovery that started this silliness remains -- the
strange isotopic anomalies; that data continues to hold
up. I call this sort of situation -- data in search of an
explanation -- Orphan Facts. I don't smell parenthood
in this story.

"Mammoths" were a genus with eleven species, and the
woolly mammoth was the last one. Most populations in
North America and Eurasia died out about 12,000 years
ago. Until recently, it was thought they vanished from
Europe and Southern Siberia at the same time, but new
findings show that some were still there about 10,000 years
ago. A little later, they disappeared from continental Northern
Siberia. A small population survived on St. Paul Island,
Alaska, up until 8000 years ago, and some small mammoths
on Wrangel Island became extinct only around 4000 years
ago. Doesn't sound much like instant Death From The Sky
to me.

Mastodons are NOT the same as Mammoths, a different
genus and not even the same family; there were two species
of mastodons. But you couldn't have told the difference;
I'd have run screaming from either one: same size, both
furry, both with those big tusks. Mastodons were most
numerous in Eastern North America -- their Heartland was
our Heartland, although they were everywhere in the New
World (not the Old). Their remains have been found 300
miles out in the Atlantic (it was dry land then, remember),
in Nova Scotia, Kentucky, Missouri, Louisiana, Washington
State, Wisconsin, Texas, Indiana, and oh, yes! -- South
America! They died out about 10,000 years ago (after four
million years of Ice Age happiness). One Mastodon was
found in the middle of the Mississppi River!

Remind me again: how does a Comet in Canada kill a furry
mastodon in South America? Both Mammoths and Mastodons
are unique Ice Age critters, elephants with fur coats! But
notice that while there are Mammoths in Canada and Alaska
and Siberia (Brrr!), the Mastodons preferred Kentucky,
Missouri, and Lu-Ezi-Anna, not mention South America.
So, how does ONE climate change kill off TWO genera
with such different climatic tastes?

 And why are the Elephants, furry or not, getting all the
attention? Besides them, between 11,500 years ago and 10,000
years ago, North America lost five species of American Horses,
all of its Camels (I'd walk a mile to see a North American Camel),
the North American Llama, two kinds of Deer, two genera of
Antelopes, the Woodland Musk Ox, the Giant (2X) Beaver,
a variety of Ground Sloths (big ones), a Bear bigger than the
Grizzly Bear (it was six feet high at the shoulder when on all
fours!), the Saber-Toothed "Cat" (what we used to call the
Saber-Toothed Tiger, a much classier name), the American
Lion (bigger than the African), the US Cheetah, the oversized
and well-named Dire Wolf, the Giant Peccary (Super-Pig), the
California Tapir, and don't forget those lovable Elephants
in Fur Coats...

South America and Australia had even bigger Wipe-Out's than
we did. There are theories, of course, all of them completely
illogical to my mind. They are 1) The Ice Age ended, 2) Man
the Mighty Hunter, and now, 3) The Comet.

1) The Ice Age didn't end; we just had another Interglacial, just
like the other 40-odd Interglacials following the other 40-odd
Glaciations in the Pleistocene Ice Age, just like always, no
warmer than usual, and all these critters got through the other
40-odd Interglacials alright -- no problemo. Most of these
species and genera were of Ice Age origin, arising in the last
2 to 4 million years to thrive in Ice Age cooling conditions;
they were not old and doddering species. We are one of them,
of course, the species that arose in that same time period for
the same reason -- Ice Age Man. It's an on-going process.
The Ice Age isn't over yet, you know, you Whacky Warmists.

2) Yeah, yeah... Man the Mighty Hunter. How come a handful
of Clovisites could extinct the immense and nasty American
Lion, one of the largest Lion species to ever live, weighing in
at 650 pounds, yes, folks, extinct it on sight, when two million
years of aggressive hominids couldn't put a dent in the population
of the smaller, weaker, less fierce African Lion? The American
Lion was the 4th most abundant mammal in North America --
not an easy extinction target. Read all about it:

3) The Comet. Exactly how did this evidenceless Comet extinct
75% of the largest mammals? They say, by causing a 1000-year
return to the previous glacial climate. Well, all these Ice Age-adapted
mammals had just finished thriving through a 25,000-year-long
Ice Age to which they were specifically adapted -- what's another
cool millennium to them? Nothing! Did this Comet cause the
simultaneous extinctions in South America and in Europe and in
Australia? Did they all have their own Comets? (This IS a
possibility, but where's the evidence?)

The whole case stinks. It's not a Chicxulub-No-More-Dinosaurs
kind of case in the weight of evidence. It's a case of Little Comet,
Little Extinction, Little Evidence

Sterling K. Webb
----- Original Message -----
From: "tracy latimer" <daistiho at hotmail.com>
To: <cynapse at charter.net>; <meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com>
Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2008 6:39 PM
Subject: Re: [meteorite-list] Exploding asteroid theory strengthened bynew
evidence located in Ohio, Indiana

I wish that when scientists make pronouncements like this, they would not
play coy but give a thumbnail explanation why they are contradicting current
thought, what evidence they have found to the contrary. Instead, the
stories seem more slanted to grabbing headlines and playing to the
"extraterrestrials from Procyon did it!" crowd, which may be more the news
hounds than the researchers.

Tracy Latimer

> From: cynapse at charter.net
> To: Meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com
> Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2008 16:47:01 -0400
> Subject: [meteorite-list] Exploding asteroid theory strengthened by new
> evidence located in Ohio, Indiana

 Geological evidence found in Ohio and Indiana in recent weeks is
the case to attribute what happened 12,900 years ago in North America --
the end of the last Ice Age unexpectedly turned into a phase of extinction
animals and humans -- to a cataclysmic comet or asteroid explosion over top

A comet/asteroid theory advanced by Arizona-based geophysicist Allen West in
past two years says that an object from space exploded just above the
surface at that time over modern-day Canada, sparking a massive shock wave
heat-generating event that set large parts of the northern hemisphere
setting the stage for the extinctions.

Now University of Cincinnati Assistant Professor of Anthropology Ken
working in conjunction with West and Indiana Geological Society Research
Scientist Nelson R. Schaffer, has verified evidence from sites in Ohio and
Indiana -- including, locally, Hamilton and Clermont counties in Ohio and
County in Indiana -- that offers the strongest support yet for the exploding
comet/asteroid theory.

Samples of diamonds, gold and silver that have been found in the region have
been conclusively sourced through X-ray diffractometry in the lab of UC
Professor of Geology Warren Huff back to the diamond fields region of

The only plausible scenario available now for explaining their presence this
south is the kind of cataclysmic explosive event described by West's theory.
believe this is the strongest evidence yet indicating a comet impact in that
time period," says Tankersley.

Ironically, Tankersley had gone into the field with West believing he might
able to disprove West's theory.

Tankersley was familiar through years of work in this area with the
gold and silver deposits, which at one point could be found in such
abundance in
this region that the Hopewell Indians who lived here about 2,000 years ago
engaged in trade in these items.

Prevailing thought said that these deposits, which are found at a soil depth
consistent with the time frame of the comet/asteroid event, had been brought
south from the Great Lakes region by glaciers.

"My smoking gun to disprove (West) was going to be the gold, silver and
diamonds," Tankersley says. "But what I didn't know at that point was a
conclusion he had reached that he had not yet made public -- that the likely
point of impact for the comet wasn't just anywhere over Canada, but located
Canada's diamond-bearing fields. Instead of becoming the basis for rejecting
hypothesis, these items became the very best evidence to support it."

Additional sourcing work is being done at the sites looking for iridium,
micro-meteorites and nano-diamonds that bear the markers of the
region, which also should have been blasted by the impact into this region.

Much of the work is being done in Sheriden Cave in north-central Ohio's
County, a rich repository of material dating back to the Ice Age.

Tankersley first came into contact with West and Schaffer when they were
guests for interdisciplinary colloquia presented by UC's Department of
this spring.

West presented on his theory that a large comet or asteroid, believed to be
than a mile in diameter, exploded just above the earth at a time when the
Ice Age appeared to be drawing to a close.

The timing attached to this theory of about 12,900 years ago is consistent
the known disappearances in North America of the wooly mammoth population
the first distinct human society to inhabit the continent, known as the
civilization. At that time, climatic history suggests the Ice Age should
been drawing to a close, but a rapid change known as the Younger Dryas
instead ushered in another 1,300 years of glacial conditions. A cataclysmic
explosion consistent with West's theory would have the potential to create
kind of atmospheric turmoil necessary to produce such conditions.

"The kind of evidence we are finding does suggest that climate change at the
of the last Ice Age was the result of a catastrophic event," Tankersley

Currently, Tankersley can be seen in a new documentary airing on the
Geographic channel. The film "Ancient Asteroids" is part of that network's
"Naked Science" series.

The new discoveries made working with West and Schaffer will be incorporated
into two more specials that Tankersley is currently involved with -- one for
PBS series "Nova" and a second for the History Channel that will be filming
Tankersley and his UC students in the field this summer. Another
this one being produced by the Discovery Channel and the British public
television network Channel 4, will also be following Tankersley and his
later this summer.

As more data continues to be compiled, Tankersley, West and Schaffer will be
publishing about this newest twist in the search to explain the history of
planet and its climate.

Climate change is a favorite topic for Tankersley. "The ultimate importance
this kind of work is showing that we can't control everything," he says.
planet has been hit by asteroids many times throughout its history, and when
that happens, it does produce climate change."

Source: University of Cincinnati

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Received on Thu 03 Jul 2008 03:23:16 AM PDT

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