Kerr Watch

Elapsed time since Richard Kerr failed to inform his Science readers of the confirmation of nanodiamonds at the YDB: 6 years, 2 months, and 1 day

Game Changer: Independent Confirmation of ET Materials in Arizona and Dutch Black Mats

Your correspondent was doing some navel gazing last night and checked the academic “cites” for the soon to be even more famous 2007 paper, “Evidence for an extraterrestrial impact 12,900 years ago that contributed to the megafaunal extinctions and the Younger Dryas cooling.

I’ll be darned if I did not come across a just-added citation from a group at the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Sciences Lab. This is no casual reference or dismissal. It was a confirmation — of space stuff in the clovis black mat — by respected scientists I have never heard of. Big news. And also news to key researchers on the Younger Dryas Boundary Team.

Here are the CV’s for two of the authors who pop up prominently when searched: Alex Andronikov and Dante Lauretta. Very impressive.

A key aspect of the research is that they focused on the stratigraphy that Allen West has long said was most critical; not the black mat itself, but the very bottom and earliest portion of the layer, termed in the Andronikov paper: the Lower Younger Dryas Boundary (LYDB).  They call the LYBD, “a thin (2-5 cm) basal pitch-black layer likely corresponding to the lower YD boundary.” The blackest of the black mat.

Though little detail is provided in this brief conference abstract, the LYDB layer exhibited chemistry similar to the now-definitive KT Boundary layer marking the extinction of the dinosaurs. It was elevated in Iridium and Osmium, Platinum Group Elements, with other worldly ratios of said elements. What’s more, Rare Earth Elements were found to be in concentrations 800x times that found in meteorites themselves!

These findings not only corroborate those of the YDB team, but also contradict those of Paquay, et. al., considered by some to be a nail in the coffin of the theory.

When you find the breath of stars at a point in history where whole genera of animals and a human culture disappear from the record, it is time to take a deep breath, keep an open mind — and continue looking.

When the first results were announced in 2007 many scientists simply spat them out, closed their minds, and decided to ignore them. Worse, others later smeared the YD researchers. Fortunately, thanks to curious and competent scientists like Andronikov and Lauretta, good science can survive bad people.

Alex Andronikov

  • Nelson Isada

    Professor Lauretta is the PI (Principal Investigator) for a $20 MM grant involving meteoritics at UA!
    http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/Support/faculty/cv/Lauretta.pdf

  • E.P. Grondine

    Geoerge, I’d add that cite to your comprehensive list of refereed and published confirmations here.

  • The report of their field trip has been available online for nearly half a year – HERE. This result is fairly weak, and is not the smoking gun you are looking for, but it is interesting nevertheless, if it can be replicated or believed. They are saying that is COULD support an ET impact scenario, in other words, it doesn’t rule it out. Also note one of the authors was originally against it before he was for it. My take is that they are still open minded about the hypothesis and simply reporting what they found. And it probably would not have been a globally or regionally catastrophic event with the impact indicator anomalies they see.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi TLE –
    Thanks for the link. The value of the Tusk is rapid desemination of informantion.

    As for the rest, wrong.

    As we now know and can demonstrate, the extinction mechanism was a “nuclear winter” brought on by cometary dust loading. The end of the ice age was ongoing; what effect the impacts had on it are open; the number of impacts, their locations and other effects are open as well.

    But the global dust load is no longer “open” for debate, nor is the global simultaneous extinction of many species based on their food requirements.

    As far as devloping a directed research strategy, that is nearly impossible now, and will be until Morrison “retires”.
    Until then he will relied upon by the denial mechanism.

    In sum, comets and comet fragments hit, and form a much larger part of the impact hazard than previously estimated.

    The only other solution is to rename “comets” as “asteroids from the Oort Cloud”.

  • Steve Garcia

    George, thanks for the link. That is about the most bare bones paper I’ve ever seen. And it has three co-authors. Wow. Maybe I am spoiled. This paper has so little quantified evidence, there isn’t much to go on. They summarize their findings, but give only one real value. A chart would have been nice.

    I think actual values would enable others to gauge how well the research supported (or not) either the THC or impact hypotheses. One thing it doesn’t do is it does not lend any support to the THC hypothesis, but then it wouldn’t, not being oceanic. Whatever other claims the THC makes, it has no capacity to make claims about the black mat and trace elements.

    Besides the last sentence – which almost seems a grudging acknowledgement – the best sentence I thought was this:

    “Such a difference in compositions can point to a sharp change in the conditions of sedimentation just before LYDB layer deposition.” But it has no information that one can sink one’s teeth into, one way or another. They seemed to go out of their way to make the findings inconclusive re what they mean. What were the conditions that changed? What does “sharp change” mean?

    I kind of disagree with Thomas: I don’t think there are enough specific assertions of fact in it to replicate the work, because without quantifications, it is too vague.

    That is my two cents.

  • George Howard

    Fair enough, Steve, and thanks for the commnent. But be careful not to sacrifice appreciation of the great in pursuit of the perfect. This is an incredible subject (literally) and the vast majority of qualified researchers are going to justifiably restrain themselves. Also, keep in mind this was obviously an abstract for a conference presentation where more data was presumably supplied in person, and one would also assume a journal article giving details is underway. I am going to blog on the Field Notes, but they convey a determination and open-mindedness which is refreshing. Finally, The Tusk is aware of other formal papers in press which will nicely compliment these preliminary findings. Double finally, I am a circus barker and will always tout a large horse as the “Largest Horse in the World”!!

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi George –

    My estimate is that as the layer of impactites is mapped, it will lead to a few of the larger craters. But from what we hav seen with the KT events, even they will not put an end to the denial of comet and comet fragment impact.

  • Steve Garcia

    Thanks, George, for the background. Acknowledged and now über-appreciated!

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