Ok, I’ve finally found a little time to provide some commentary after posting the Gobekli Tepe \ YD Comet paper last week. I have more substantive comments underway (believe it or not) but first I thought I would rail a bit about the press.
The treatment of this particular story by the American press, and its larger context, the Younger Dryas Boundary Impact Hypothesis, continues to be despicable. The Brits led the way again on this subject and carried most of the planet in their wake. This fascinating little paper is being picked up all over the globe with dozens of re-writes by hundreds of publications — but very nearly zero from the US.
It would seem the US science desks and editors could find some common interest in this subject with our closest intellectual cousin, global warming certainly dominates coverage in both countries. But no. Just like the Widespread Platinum paper in Nature Reports last month, crickets in the US and reported in the UK. It seems we have our own science news, and they have theirs. How’s that for legitimacy of science?
The always depressing fact is that the U.S. science press has become so overtly politicized that it has no ink for anything that does not extend the narrative. There is no room for a serious, mitigable and global “science” threat that does not involve polluters and conservatives as the bad guys. Space rocks are hard to blame – and distracting.
Imagine if a media kid dares take this seriously, and (gasp) does some ‘enterprise reporting’ on the magnitude and quality of the research? They may reveal to themselves a threat on a par with CO2. Who would embark on a writing project that might result in THAT? For the rest of their career they would be intellectually compelled to write the next global warming story with an acknowledgement that the subject is our #2 global problem. That makes it hard to get up in morning to cover the March for Science.
So why the Brits? I think catastrophism, as a philosophy and a way to see world, is still a faint cultural recollection for them. And therefore of more interest to their readers and their writers. Like so many non-US cultures, they are still surrounded by their dragons — and most have had to consider at least once whether their ancestors really saw flying fire lizards, were full of shit, or maybe, just maybe, they saw flaming bolides with smokey snake tails — just like they record today with their iPhones.
Moreover, a hardy band of UK researchers have been making precisely these same claims in peer-reviewed publications for many decades — approximately 40 decades. From Newton and Whiston, to Clube and Napier, it is hard to put a Brit down that knows he has been right for millennia. There is clearly some thread of understanding in the UK Fourth Estate that this is an area of legitimate intellectual inquiry with a long and distinguished history. Our press, on the other hand, only honors fashions that were born after they were.
So that’s that on the press coverage. As I say, more is coming, on our newest British friend, Dr. Martin Sweatman, author of the paper that inspired this deviation.
I have provided some counter points below to the arguments made in the recent publications from Daulton and Scott (regular critics). However, I was particularly disturbed to see that the papers failed to include very significant confirmations of our work, for instance Adronikov 2016. Unlike Tian (2011) and Bement 2014. Daulton claims failure to locate diamonds, but that is no excuse for leading people to believe there have been no recent high-level confirmations of the data from others.
Regardless, there are some obvious shortcoming to the papers and I speak here as a member of the Comet Research Group:
1. NANODIAMONDS. The Daulton et al. paper makes it sound like there is no evidence for nanodiamonds at all, when in fact they admit to the opposite. On page 22, they write, “While there is evidence of cubic nanodiamonds in Late Pleistocene sediments, their presence does not provide evidence of an impact because they have not been linked to impact processes.” The only way they can make that claim is to ignore all of the other evidence that we have such as high-temperature melted spherules and meltglass.
LONSDALEITE. We wrote in Kinzie et al. (2014) that YDB “lonsdaleite-like” particles have all the characteristics of lonsdaleite, but there are too few of them for us to confirm that. We agree with Dalton that these particles are still debatable, and we agree that we misidentified some of them, but not all.
PEAKS IN NANODIAMONDS. Daulton disputes that we have identified peaks in nanodiamonds, but frankly, that is just a nonsensical argument. While it is true that we cannot tell how many nanodiamonds are in the peaks, nevertheless, we know that there are qualitative peaks. Here’s a real world example of why Daulton is wrong. Let’s say that I look out the window onto a pond and I don’t see any ducks. Next day, I look out and there are lots of ducks. There are too many to count, but I know that there are a lot more than zero. The next day the ducks are gone. By definition, there was a peak in ducks on the previous day. The same applies to Daulton’s claim that we don’t have a peak in nanodiamonds. He is simply wrong – the peak has been confirmed by independent groups, including Bement et al. in Oklahoma and in Belgium by Tian et al., who are critics of the YDB hypothesis.
NANODIAMONDS AND IMPACTS. Daulton and others keep repeating “Yes, the diamonds are there but that doesn’t prove there was an impact.” While that is true, technically, there is no other known way to have nanodiamonds appear in sediment except by an impact. To me, to use the same analogy as above, if they look like ducks, they probably are.
2. The Scott et al. paper looked for wildfire evidence in just one area, the Channel Islands in California. They found lots of charcoal and carbon spherules in many strata, and they state on page 11, “Carbonaceous materials from Arlington Canyon do not require extraterrestrial input or ignition, or in some cases preclude such an event,” in contradiction to their press release, which makes it seem like they have completely refuted the YDB hypothesis. Just to be clear, they’re saying that they can’t rule out an extraterrestrial impact. They also argue that the carbonaceous materials indicate low-temperature wildfires which, they assume, precludes extraterrestrial impacts. That assumption just shows their lack of knowledge of impact wildfires, such as those that occurred at Tunguska in 1908, where low-temperature wildfires were triggered beneath the fireball. At Tunguska, the highest temperatures were generated closest to the fireball, and temperatures dropped off exponentially with distance, meaning that at Tunguska and presumably, any other impact event, there are both high-and low-temperature fires.
The Tusk was absolutely thrilled to see the publication last week of a paper concerning Carolina Bays in the distinguished journal, Geomorphology. Other than a brief role for the Carolina bays in the early papers of the Comet Research Group, and a much longer series of Geological Society of America posters laboriously researched and determindly published by Michael Davias et. al, Zamora’s A Model for the Geomorphology of Bays is the only peer-reviewed and published ‘ET origin’ work on bays in the last two decades — and it is a doozy.
Zamora builds on the work of Willam Prouty and Melton and Schriver in the first half of the 20th century, with an assist from Eyton and Parkhurst in the 70’s, and finally Davias and Kimbel’s efforts in recent years. Each of the researchers maintained that the bays were formed at once by a barrage of material from the midwest. But, just as the early researchers ultimately decided, those around today also dismiss bays as the direct impacts of ET fragments of a comet or asteroid, and consider them to be the remnant features of secondary impacts from the ejecta and ballistic shockwaves of a northerly catastrophe. They are wise to do so.
The correct theory must account for ALL the easily observed, unique characteristics of bays. [See list of 16 from Eyton and Parkhurst here] The “wind and wave,” gradual formation, theories that continue to hold sway in classrooms, and publications from Ivestor and Brooks, fail miserably to account for all the observed phenomena. Zamora checks each off with ease. When time permits I hope to address them one by one.
Significantly, Zamora’s work is multidisciplinary and, like Davias, assisted by geometry as well as geology. Here is a sample:
Ellipses are mathematical conic sections formed by the intersection of a plane and a cone. The elliptical geomorphology of the Carolina Bays and the Nebraska Rainwater Basins can be explained if the bays originated from slanted conical cavities that were later remodeled into shallow depressions by geological processes. A width-to-length ratio of 0.58 corresponds to a cone inclined at 35° using the relationship sin(θ) = W/L. The proposed conical cavities could have been made by impacts of material ejected at approximately 35° in ballistic trajectories from the point of convergence in the Great Lakes Region. The small variations of the width-to-length ratio correspond to slightly different angles that are consistent with possible ballistic trajectories
The bay rims to Zamora are the result of a complex mathematical equation. They are the final surface expression of thousands of conical, inclined ballistic shock cones, each traveling with a giant ice fragment blown from the ice sheet in a nine-minute supersonic arc from the frigid north to the Carolina coast. (I will work on that sentence but you get the idea). These icebergs from space slammed into the supersaturated unconsolidated clayey sands of the coastal plain and left behind the shock “ripples” and “flaps” that we recognize today as bay rims. Zamora even provides an equation relating the perfection and ellipticity of bays to the degree of unconsolidated sediments encountered by the ice bullets:
The LiDAR images also reveal that some terrains do not have elliptical bays. Davias and Harris (2015) describe six archetype bay shapes that may be determined by the geological characteristics of the terrain. The thickness of the layer of unconsolidated material required to produce an elliptical bay can be estimated by the formula tan(θ) × L/2, where L is the length of the major axis and θ is the angle of inclination. A conical cavity inclined at 35° corresponding to a bay with a major axis of 400 m would require a layer of unconsolidated material with a depth of approximately 140 m.
That makes sense to me, and accounts for the “classes” of similar bays, an aspect unexplained by wind and water enthusiasts, but first investigated and catalogued by Davias.
In addition to the present journal publication, Zamora makes his case in detail in a recently published book available from Amazon: Killer Comet: What the Carolina Bays tell us. I am reading it now and will update this post accordingly.
On the shoulders of genius, Zamora has provided defensible and superior answers to the many questions provoked by the appearance and distribution of Carolina bays. The geological community will largely ignore this paper, of course, but some will take note. And there is always reason for hope as the class of geologists who reject recent catastrophic explanations out-of-hand continue their long march from the tenured defense of the known, to retirement, and finally to death. I note that in closing Zamora gives a shout-out to his editor, Professor Andrew J. Plater of the University of Liverpool, clearly an enlightened man, who tweets here as @GeomorphologyDr if you care to thank him.
Dr. Robert M. Schoch, Ph.D., of Boston University, is a thought provoking scientist with an open-minded approach to new ideas. Unfortunately his interest in disruptive theories has never extended itself to the Younger Dryas Boundary hypothesis, as he details on his webpage in a critique titled “Controversies Concerning the End ofthe Last Ice Age.”
His objection to the published science and data of the Comet Research Group is curious, since our work validates much of his unpublished speculation concerning catastrophe at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. This dynamic is disappointing because those working to reveal the true record should find some common cause. Unfortunately, Schoch has never reached out to our researchers in order to work through and address his criticisms.
So, the CRG is taking the opportunity here on the Tusk and elsewhere to rebut Dr. Schoch’s critique in the hope that he will carefully re-consider his position, which seems entirely based on the on the faulty work of our critics — which are his too.
The Younger Dryas impact hypothesis proposes that a massive swarm of fragments from a giant comet hit Earth approximately 12,800 years ago, triggering bitterly cold ice-age conditions, while contributing to the extinction of millions of animals and to a human population decline across the Northern Hemisphere. The debris from the multiple comet impacts created the Younger Dryas boundary layer (abbreviated as “YDB”), which contains more than a dozen items, called “proxies,” all of which have been found in previously known impact events. These proxies include melted iron spherules, melted glass spherules, high-temperature chunks of melted glass, nanodiamonds, carbon spherules (some containing nanodiamonds), iridium, osmium, platinum, charcoal, and aciniform carbon, a form of soot. Although many of those individual proxies, such as charcoal and soot, can be produced by normal terrestrial processes other than impacts, the entire suite of proxies listed above is only known to occur in cosmic impact events, and cannot be produced in any other natural way. That is an important distinction to remember. To repeat, individual proxies may have other sources than impacts, but there is no evidence of any kind that all of those proxies together are produced at one time by anything other than a cosmic impact. For more information on the impact hypothesis and these proxies, see our website at www.CometResearchGroup.org
Hey folks, I will make this short and expand and update in the future. The newly formed Comet Research Group crowd appeal for funding ancient impact research is on the air — and your help is desperately needed. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the Tusk. And the sooner the better. We only have 30 days remaining and funding of this type requires early enthusiasm to thrive.
There are three pages you should visit in order to give, learn, and share your interest in the effort.
Many of you, like me, have devoted countless hours to this obscure subject. Others who visit this blog maintain a strong interest, if not the obsession of others. But each and every person who has visited cosmictusk.com more than once, and wonders “what the hell did happen 13,000 years ago?” has a good reason to donate to continue and expand the investigation to provide the answer.
Small contributions are particular important. Small donations raise the visibility of the effort just as much as large ones. 5$ 10$ $100 or more is deeply appreciated.
Thank you for donating and sharing the effort on social media. Please let me know if you have “grabbed an oar” in the comments below!
The Comet Research Group crowdfunding effort announced on the Tusk last month, and originally scheduled for November 1st, was pushed back in the interest of avoiding the pending election hysteria. The new date of Monday, November 14th also helps place the launch at a more promising time, a day before a key appearance of author Graham Hancock on America’s most popular podcast: The Joe Rogan Experience.
The Tusk is hoping that Hancock, who we informed of the launch, will provide support for the fundraising appeal to further investigate cosmic impacts in human history, and perhaps give the effort a “plug” on the show — as they say in the ‘biz;)
For those unfamiliar with Hancock, he is a wildly popular author and speculative challenger to current human historical understandings. Like the Tusk and many others, Graham believes that people — not just dinosaurs — have been visited by planetary devastation from above, thousands of years in the past, not millions. The most interesting thing to me is that Hancock’s intellectual and publishing journey was completely unrelated to the forensic and journal efforts of the Comet Research Group. Yet ultimately the laboratory work of the Comet Research Group, and the popular, generalist approach of Hancock reached many (but not all) of the same conclusions.
Fortunately, Graham’s appeal is not limited to the written word. He has also secured a treasured place as a regular guest of the 3-Hour Joe Rogan Experience Podcast, previously described here by the Tusk. These episodes draw millions of intelligent, curious listeners from around he world. It is our humble prayer that after next week’s episode some of them will find their way to the Indiegogo appeal, the Comet Research Group website, the CRG Facebook page, the Youtube video — or perhaps even here at the Tusk.
The Tusk has an exciting announcement. For many months a project has been underway to develop a crowdfunding campaign to finance a significant and continuing expansion of research into the YDB impact and related phenomena. Drs. Allen West, Ted Bunch, Chris Moore and I are directing the effort, which launches on November 1 and will introduce the opportunity to assist the mission of the newly formed Comet Research Group.
A crowdfunding effort is long overdue and desperately needed for our research. Pure science funding of the kind needed to expand our knowledge of the YD impact event is already a dwindling resource. But when your subject is as controversial as ours — and gores so many influential oxen — such funding is very nearly impossible to obtain. It is fair to say that the subject is “black-balled” for grants by critics and ninnies despite the quality of our publications. Sigh.
But now we have a chance to change things — big time. Despite the smug and willful ignorance of the grant review boards and journal editors, the intense popular demand for information in this field is evident in hundreds of television shows, countless books, and movies on the subject. By allowing the millions who maintain an interest in ancient catastrophes an opportunity to assist our efforts through donations, I am convinced we will discover an untapped demand to professionally investigate the profound and ancient question of whether our ancestors were visited by catastrophe from above.
If the appeal to these millions is only minimally successful, it will allow us to perform research that would otherwise be impossible in the near term. We have defined three initial research objectives with a combined budget of only $106,000:
1) An exploration of the suspected “Charity Shoals” crater in Lake Superior, which may date to the time of the event ($28,800);
2) An expedition to Greenland to further sample the ice cap for ET and impact related material ($27,500);
3) A more detailed investigation of a suspected airburst in the Jordan Valley at Tall el Hammam in ~1800 BC ($49,900).
Additional details on these expeditions and the progress of the campaign will be forthcoming at variety of sources (Friend us on Facebook!).
While the Indiegogo site is still under construction, and private until the launch, the supporting website is now available and readers should enjoy jumping over to cometresearchgroup.org to take a look. The site is intended to provide a more in-depth source of information for people interested in knowing more about the YDB body of research than will be available on Indiegogo. It should prove helpful and will expand and improve over time as new information is developed, plans are refined, and money is raised, spent and accounted for.
The new website will also feature another blog, for which your’s truly will have some responsibility. In fact, I intend to cross-post this message there as the inaugural communication. That blog will be somewhat different than the Tusk, since it will feature relatively plain vanilla information about the research and updates on the discoveries, without the joshing around and teasing of critics we are accustomed to here, or some of the wilder speculation entertained on these pages.
And finally, we have another aspect of the appeal produced, one which I will now make available exclusively to Tusk readers. The video that will go on Indigogo and elsewhere November 1:
The crowdfunding video has been embargoed until November 1st
If any further proof is required of my selfless dedication to this effort, I cannot supply it. I resisted the approach initially and imagined it as a dry narrative featuring electron microscopes, lab coats, and archaeology pits — not my living room. But as things progressed it became clear that one person needed to go on camera, and I volunteered in order to play a helpful role, but also to a degree to spare anyone more credentialed than myself from having to beg for money on YouTube. (Cringe.)
I was also a bit reluctant at first to focus so directly on future impacts. For what it is worth, and you may have noticed, I decided long ago this blog would focus on impacts in the peopled past. The internet is already well populated with information, discussion, speculation — and complete bullshit — with regard to the threat of future impacts. I figured the Tusk would be of more interest to me, and distinguish itself, if it left calls to “Repent now!” or launch exotic protective measures into space, to others.
But this crowdfunding thing was more “broadcast” than “narrowcast” and needed a different approach. Tusk readers, I hope and trust, always keep in mind that there is another dimension to our six-year discussion here that bears not on the fate of spear-chuckers and furry elephants in the past, but on our kids and their kids’ kids. If our contentions about the relatively recent past are true, it goes without saying that we must seriously prepare to protect our future. But it was decided to make the case, in this case, to the vast majority of people without inference or subtlety.
I welcome your suggestions and comments about this project, now and as things progress. And, of course, your contribution if you are so inclined.
The presence of a possible meteoritic component in the same sediments suggests that an ET event occurred at approximately the same time. However, whether the presence of the meteoritic component is due to a local meteorite impact/airburst or to a much stronger event remains unclear. Anyway, it is quite possible that some short and dramatic event took place just before the onset of the Younger Dryas climate oscillation, but, as was emphasized by Haynes et al. (2010), an understanding of what happened at c. 12.9– 12.8 ka BP requires further research.
Regular readers of the Tusk know we don’t dwell here on modern day cosmic interactions. But that was yesterday. Today a best buddy and long-time co-worker, Worth Creech, came into my office shocked to report….he had actually seen…..a daytime fireball in Raleigh!
Well, I’ll bee. The Tar Heel State had an encounter with the incredible. Worth, and the moms, dads and kids at soccer practice, watched slack jawed as a bolide streaked across our state at the fringe of atmosphere to explode over eastern North Carolina Wednesday afternoon.
It surprised me that the media coverage of the encounter was so relatively light. I had always believed that daytime fireballs result in brief — but intense — local press. The Raleigh Fireball of 2016 was barely noted, demonstrating how uncomfortably common such interactions must be.