Dear Mr. Singer:
Sandia Labs issued a news release on January 30, 2013, with a passage that requires a satisfactory explanation or I believe Sandia Labs has libeled myself [sic] and others researching the Younger Dryas Boundary Impact hypothesis. In the release, titled “Study rebuts hypothesis that comet attacks ended 13,000-year-old Clovis culture,” Sandia Labs published the following quote from your employee, Dr. Mark Boslough:
While this raised red flags to those already critical of the impact hypothesis, “I never said the samples were salted,” Boslough said carefully. “I said they were contaminated.”
A reasonable person reading this statement could conclude that Dr. Boslough had been mistakenly quoted at some point in the past saying the samples were “salted,” and he was simply correcting the mistake out of respect for his own integrity and our reputations. However, I cannot locate an instance in the popular press, published literature or blogosphere where Dr. Boslough was misquoted in this manner. The only reference I have found to “salting” samples in our research was in a May 14, 2011, blog article — also featuring Dr. Boslough:
Did someone salt a sediment layer to increase the spherule count? Or did the 200-year-old sample inadvertently get mixed in somehow? Boslough says he can’t provide an answer, but there was some form of “contamination.” [Comet Theory Comes Crashing to Earth]
If the second statement is the only published reference to “salting” samples, Dr. Boslough’s statement in your news release is misleading and severely damages my reputation and that of other researchers. As a media professional, Mr. Singer, you understand that repeating a falsehood only serves to perpetuate it. Such a repetition might be justified to correct the record — but only if someone had actually misquoted Dr. Boslough.
Please provide an instance where Dr. Boslough was misquoted in the manner to which he refers in your news release and I will not pursue this matter any further.
George A. Howard
Cc: Paul Hommel, President and Lab Director
Mike Janes, Communications Officer
Elizabeth D. Krauss, Corporate Counsel