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 5 days

In desperate hole, Pinter grabs another shovel

Nicholas Pinter Nicholas Pinter Nicholas Pinter Nicholas Pinter Nicholas Pinter Nicholas Pinter Nicholas Pinter Nicholas Pinter Nicholas Pinter Nicholas Pinter Nicholas Pinter Nicholas Pinter Nicholas Pinter Nicholas Pinter Nicholas Pinter Nicholas Pinter

Nicholas Pinter

In a recent interview with NBC News anti-YDB jihadi Nick Pinter claimed that “the pro-impact literature is, at this point, fringe science being promoted by a single journal.

This is nonsense — and easily disproven. The critics of the YDB hypothesis have published 10 times in PNAS (see #1 below), whereas the YDB proponents have published only 8 times (see #2 below). Where’s the bias by PNAS, one of the world’s most prestigious journals? There is none.

Also, let’s look at Pinter’s claim that the YDB impact hypothesis is only being argued in a single journal. Besides the 8 papers in PNAS, proponents have published 15 papers in 13 other journals (listed below and in #3). Pinter’s claim is obviously false.

Journals other than PNAS publishing evidence from YDB proponents:

Contemporary Issues in California Archaeology;
Earth and Planetary Science Letters (2);
Journal of Advanced Microscopic Research
Journal of Archaeological Science;
Journal of Cosmology;
Journal of Glaciology;
Journal of Geology;
Journal of Siberian Federal University;
Journal of the Geological Society;
Quaternary International;
Quaternary Science Reviews;
Sedimentary Geology (2);

#1 PNAS con-YDB references:

Haynes (2008) Proc Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; black mat.
Buchanan et al. (2009) Proc Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; no YD population decline.
Marlon et al. (2009) Proc Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; no peak in wildfires.
Surovell et al. (2009) Proc Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; no YDB spherule peaks.
Paquay et al. (2009) Proc Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; no iridium.
Daulton et al. (2010) Proc Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; no diamonds.
Scott et al. (2010); carbon spherules.
Haynes et al. (2010); spherules found in the YDB.
Tian et al. (2011); diamonds found in the YDB
Van Hoesel et al. (2012); diamonds found “near” the YDB.

#2: PNAS pro-YDB references:

Bunch TE, et al. (2012) Very High-Temperature Impact Melt Products as Evidence for Cosmic Airbursts and Impacts 12,900 years ago. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 109: 11066-11067.

Firestone RB, et al. (2007) Evidence for an extraterrestrial impact 12,900 years ago that contributed to the megafaunal extinctions and the Younger Dryas cooling. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:16016–16021.

Israde-Alcántara I, et al. (2012) Evidence from Central Mexico supporting the Younger Dryas Extraterrestrial Impact Hypothesis. Proc Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109, 13, E738-E747.

Kennett DJ, et al. (2009a) Shock-synthesized hexagonal diamonds in Younger Dryas boundary Sediments, Proc Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 106 (31): 12623-12628.

Kennett DJ, et al. (2009b) Nanodiamonds in the Younger Dryas boundary sediment layer. Science 323:94.

LeCompte MA, et al. (2012) Independent evaluation of conflicting microspherule results from different investigations of the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis. Proc Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106: doi: 10.1073/pnas.1208603109.

Petaev, MI, Huang S, Jacobsen SB, Zindler A. (2013) Large Pt anomaly in the Greenland ice core points to a cataclysm at the onset of Younger Dryas. Proc Natl. Acad. Sci. USA published online before print July 22, 2013, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1303924110.

Wittke JH, et al. (2013) Evidence for Deposition of 10 Million Tonnes of Impact Spherules across Four Continents 12,800 years ago. Proc Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, vol. 110 no. 23 E2088-E2097.

Wu Y, et al. (2013) Origin and provenance of spherules and magnetic grains at the Younger Dryas boundary. Proc Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, published online before print September 5, 2013, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1304059110.

#3 non-PNAS pro-YDB references:

Anderson DG, Goodyear AC, Kennett J, West A. (2011) Multiple lines of evidence for possible Human population decline/settlement reorganization during the early Younger Dryas. Quaternary International 242 (2011) 570-583.

Fayek M, Anovitz LM, Allard LF, Hull S. (2012) Framboidal iron oxide: chondrite-like material from the black mat, Murray Springs, Arizona. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 319-320: 251-258.

Firestone RB, et al. (2010) Analysis of the Younger Dryas Impact Layer. Journal of Siberian Federal University, Engineering & Technologies 1 30-62.

Firestone RB. (2009) The Case for the Younger Dryas Extraterrestrial Impact Event: Mammoth, Megafauna, and Clovis Extinction, 12,900 Years Ago. Journal of Cosmology (

Jones TL and Kennett DJ. (2012) A Land Impacted? The Younger Dryas Boundary Event in California. Contemporary Issues in California Archaeology, edited by Jones TL and Perry JE, 37–48.

Kennett DJ, et al. (2008) Wildfire and abrupt ecosystem disruption on California’s Northern Channel Islands at the Ållerød–YoungerDryas boundary (13.0–12.9 ka). Quaternary Science Reviews 27 2528–2543.

Kennett, D.J. et al., (2009) Nanodiamonds in the Younger Dryas Boundary Sediment Layer. Science 323: 94.

Kurbatov AV, et al. (2010) Discovery of a nanodiamond-rich layer in the Greenland ice sheet. Journal of Glaciology, 56, 749-759.

Mahaney WC, David Krinsley, Kurt Langworthy, Kris Hart, Volli Kalm, Pierre Tricart and Stephane Schwartz. (2011a) Fired glaciofluvial sediment in the northwestern Andes: Biotic aspects of the Black Mat. Sedimentary Geology. 237, (1-2), pp73-83.

Mahaney WC, et al. (2010a) Evidence from the northwestern Venezuelan Andes for extraterrestrial impact: The black mat enigma. Geomorphology, v. 116, iss. 1-2, p. 48-57.

Mahaney WC, et al. (2013) Weathering Rinds as Mirror Images of Palaeosols: Examples from the Western Alps with correlation to Antarctica and Mars. Journal of the Geological Society 2013, v.170; p833-847.

Mahaney WC, Krinsley D, Kalm V (2010b) Evidence for a cosmogenic origin of fired glaciofluvial beds in the northwestern Andes: Correlation with experimentally heated quartz and feldspar. Sedimentary Geology, v. 231, iss. 1-2, p. 31-40.

Mahaney, WC, et al. (2011b) Notes on the black mat sediment, Mucunuque Catchment, northern Mérida Andes, Venezuela.. Journal of Advanced Microscopic Research, vol. 6, no. 3.

Mahaney WC, et al. (2013, July) New Evidence from a Black Mat Site in the Northern Andes Supporting a Cosmic Impact 12,800 Years Ago The Journal of Geology vol. 121, No. 4 (July 2013), pp. 309-325

Overholt AC, Melott AL. (2013) Cosmogenic nuclide enhancement via deposition from long-period comets as a test of the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 377, 55-61.

Steele J. (2010) Radiocarbon dates as data: quantitative strategies for estimating colonization front speeds and event densities. Journal of Archaeological Science 37/8, p. 2017-2030.

  • Trent Telenko

    Dennis said:

    >And then you notice that at the top of the four inch wide transition layer of
    >particles and fine gravels between them you see a very distinct layer of iron
    >particles rusting out in a very pronounced red line of rust. Do any of ya’ll
    >think it might be important?

    If I understand what you are implying here, you think that the rust may be evidence of a iron content meteor?

  • Yes, depending on wether or not ET chemistry is detected in the specimens I took. But it’s not nessarilly related to the YD event. That layer represents a huge time frame. Any impact during the ice age could have pepered the ice with debris like this that would have settled out as the ice melted.

  • Trent Telenko

    Most of the meteor signatures to date seem to point to a comet fragment.

    Confirming a seperate iron meteor fragment impact in the same time frame is going to make a lot of academic hacks and certain NASA scientists very unhappy.

    We are then looking at less an impact “event” than an impact “epic” with a spectrum of impact sources.

    The cat will well and truely be among the pigeons, if that is confirmed.

  • On the timing, tbe only thing that can be said for certain is that this stuff was deposited on that surface as the final layer before the bottom sediments of Lake Agassiz arrived. There remains a huge window of time when they could been deposited on the LIS.

  • Hermann Burchard

    not to worry, thar’s iron in them thar comets.

    what a great theory, glacial moraines as ET flux capacitors.

  • It should also be noted that since the layer of gravels between the clays of the LIS, and the bottom sediments of Lake Agassiz is only four inches thick in this exposure, then if the YD event really did hit the great lakes region, then some part of that layer MUST contain particles and debris fron it, however small that signal might be.

  • E.P. Grondine

    If one goes back to Firestone’s AGU paper, there were fossil bones shown which had been peppered by iron spherules that condensed out from two large separate iron asteroid impacts, both impacts well separated from the Holocene Start Impact Event.

    Some people actually looked for those large iron impact craters at that time, but stopped as scarce geological impact research resources were focused on the HSIE.

    The idea of glacial ice sheets collecting meteorites and leaving them in kames for search has been considered, but the deserts are paying better.

  • E.P. Grondine

    By the way, there are excellent studies of iron spherule condensation from the large iron asteroid impact at Barringer Crater.

  • Hermann Burchard

    according to Sci Am, quoting Firestone et al PNAS 2007, the iron spherules in bones are attributable to the same YDB impact, not as you say from two large separate iron asteroid impacts, both impacts well separated from the Holocene Start Impact Event.

    Some recovered Pleistocene bones of mammoth and bison showed features that were interpreted as direct effects of the explosion – small, 2 to 3 mm in diameter, holes in the bones with a burned halo and magnetic particles with a high content of iron and nickel of unusual isotopic composition penetrated in the bones.

    Are you quoting an earlier AGU paper?

  • Steve Garcia

    Hermann –

    Yes, that is what Firestone said at the time and covered thoroughly in his book, “The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes”.

    My impression is that Firestone later recognized that the iron spherules were from an earlier event. George and Ed know more about that than I do.

    Yes, at Firestone wrote the following:

    While searching for evidence of the YD impact in Mammoth tusks we found several tusks that were impacted on only one side by high velocity iron particles. Analysis of the particles by ICP/MS and PGAA revealed they were highly enriched in nickel but depleted in titanium, which is similar to iron meteorites but not the YD impact layer. The radiocarbon age of the tusks is 35,000 years indicating that they were from a different impact event. Other evidence suggest that this impact caused earlier extinctions in Beringia. The proposed site of the impact crater is Sithylemenkat Lake in Alaska.

  • Steve Garcia

    It seems that as late as the AGU Fall Meeting last year Firestone, Bunch, and West were continuing their work on the tusks:

    Firestone’s summary includes this:

    The additional megafaunal bones are estimated to date from between 13 to 40 ka, and radiocarbon dating of samples from these specimens is currently underway.

    The summary ends with:

    These preliminary results suggest that large quantities of melt-quenched impact spherules were deposited across Alaska and western Canada (Beringia) within the last 40 kyr. We propose that they were most likely produced by hypervelocity impact/airburst events in the region during the Late Pleistocene. The presence of geochemically distinct populations indicates that there were at least two such impacts/airbursts into different source rocks.

    One would assume the carbon dating is long done by now, so either the results are out there now or will soon be.

    Though the “geochemically distinct populations” of spherules are different, with the above it is not possible to determine if the two impacts occurred at the same time or different times.


    This one-sided spherule impact evidence does not occur at any other place or time (so far as I know) or in any other kind of bone or tree, one can only suggest that it is a super rare event, and that would suggest to me that the two impacts occurred in the same event. That they both happened in the same region argues in favor of this simultaneity, too. Otherwise one is asked to believe that of all the places in the world spherules have been embedded in tusks, the second impact just happened to hit very close to the first one. It seems much more likely to have been separate impactors during the same event, but into “different source rocks.”

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi Hermann, Steve –

    One of the general principles I’ve observed through the years is the tendency for researchers
    to lump different impacts together – they can not believe that the Earth has gotten hit that many times separately.

    When Firestone et al. first published at the AGU, they did not think that the iron asteroid impacts were separate from the Holocene Start Impact Event, even though the spherule peppered bones had far different 14C dates. That is not to mention the differences between comet composition and iron asteroid composition.

    At the time, it was a regal pain in the fanny for me personally, and the lack of Cambridge Conference forum as a place for quick review and dissemination for research was missed.

  • Steve Garcia

    Ed –

    I’ve been with you a long time on multiple hits at fairly frequent intervals. I DO accept being “hit that many times separately.”

    We live in a dangerous inner solar system, in a shooting gallery. As you well know, over 1400 possible known impactors are flying around in our neighborhood, at last count. It’s a real shame, too, because it has set humans back more than once. How much of a setback? How many times? We can only speculate, but there are certainly ruins all over the world that suggest we had achieved some reasonable levels of technology and civilization at least once previously. With the accounts you have noted (including ones we all haven’t seen much of yet), Ed, it is quite clear that some of the impacts were in the time of man.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi Steve –

    While maybe you “can only speculate”, there are a number of us who actually have worked and work on determining as accurately as possible exactly what hit, when, where, and the effects of those asteroid and comet impacts.

  • Steve Garcia

    Ed –

    First of all, you’ve taken my “we can only speculate” out of context. I was addressing speculating about previous levels of civilization – not numbers of impacts or their timing or location.

    But let’s go with your reading of it for a moment…

    Having found what you think are some of them does not mean that you have determined ALL of them nor that some you think are might happen to not be.

    With the information available at this time, can you say there are six or three or twelve or seven? You have SOME evidence of some of them, and the evidence is not only spotty but is up and down. CERTAINLY some of them did happen and they will be nailed down as to when and where. And there may be some on which you have no clue yet.

    So, my statement stands, that “we can only speculate.” There is WAAAY inadequate information at this time to say with certainty that you or anyone knows how many for certain and when and where they hit. You are on the trail of them, but there is a massive amount of work to be done before it is out of the “speculative” realm.

    Keep going. I am not against you. I am just saying that no matter how many you have suspicions about – for good reasons, I am sure – you can’t say that some of them are anything more than speculation.

    Outside of CosmicTusk you probably would have tough time convincing anyone that ANY of them are more than speculation. WE HERE accept your evidence as at the “hypothetical” level. Most others won’t see them as anything more than speculation, as you interpreting the evidence optimistically and one-sidedly.

    Sorry, but that is probably the reality of it at this point. Hell, half the world looks at the YDB event as fantasy, and look at how much evidence there is for THAT. If it takes this long to convince the world of ONE of these, with all of that evidence, how long will it be before we know about how many there were in total?

    So, “speculation”? Yeah, Ed. Sorry.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Actually, Steve, “we” have our own way of communicating outside of the Tusk. And I have no problem with my peers, and evidence.

    I used to keep a list of confirmed and suspected impacts, but no longer do. The last list was publicly published on the Cambridge Conference in about 2003.

    As far as technologies and levels of civilization lost due to impact, we have some rough ideas.

    They do not involve Theosophist race wars.

  • Pingback: A letter to Live Science | A Catastrophe of Comets()

  • Trent Telenko

    Steve G,

    I think one of the bigger difference between CT readers and most elsewhere is that we as a group look at Shoemaker-Levie (sp)-Nine and say “There is no reason that can’t happen here.”

    Then we had Chelyabinsk…and our opponents are still on the “It can’t happen here” hymnal.

  • Steve Garcia

    Trent –

    Exactly. It can happen here. And it has. And it will again.

    The mofos all – literally all – had the idea that no one living would see an impact on a planet in their lifetimes. Then it happened and then afterwards they acted like it hadn’t even happened, once the hubbub died down.

    THREE of the SL-9 fragments were over 1 km across, with blasts as large ad our entire planet – in the gravity of Jupiter, no less, which is about double ours. Ask anyone what a 1-km impactor would do here.

    Ostriches all.