In yet another scurrilous feat of science sample salting, Dr. Allen West and his so-called “Younger Dryas Boundary Team” have now managed to clandestinely contaminate ice core samples from the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2). As published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, a large spike of the rare earth element Platinum has been purportedly recorded at precisely the narrow range of dates the “team” has previously proposed to a gullible public as a time of cosmic catastrophe.
Though at the time of this writing the precise method of their deception is unclear, the Tusk is closely considering three possibilities:
1) West and his cohorts are well known to travel at times to Greenland, and could certainly have spirited the suspect white metal into that cold and forbidding country prior to or during the 1993 drill project. It is well established that West has relations with a key ice core project scientist, Dr. Paul Mayewski — who has since published with the team. Though we can only speculate at this early date, it is certainly possible that Mayewski aided and abetted the far-sighted deception by sprinkling a fine dust of the precious metal at the critical 1,709 – 1720 meter depth of the core.
2) An equally intriguing possibility is West made his move prior to the recent study — but well after the actual coring expedition itself. In this scenario, West — a native of Arizona — secrets his platinum directly to the National Ice Core Laboratory in nearby Denver, Colorado. The amiable and diminutive sleuth would have little trouble breeching this lightly guarded archiving facility in order to, not steal, but leave behind the valuable element in the proper core, at the proper point in time, in order to prove his world fooling but profitable publications to come.
3) But a final scenario is perhaps most compelling to the Tusk. Given the relative difficulty of actually integrating platinum elements themselves into the core in Greenland or Denver, West breeches the laboratory at Harvard itself during sample processing. As readers and friends know, the Tusk is not a laboratory technician. But still it seems easiest for the man to have tapped his shaker of platinum salt directly over the ancient melted water during some quiet time at the lab — surely at night.
While these theories desperately need professional forensic and iterative analysis, the Tusk can only appeal to the logic of the criminal mind — mixed with gut. West and his team have “found” all manner of impossible but “cool” materials at the Younger Dryas Boundary; the public has been dazzled repeatedly by glitzy stories of diamonds, weird carbon spherules, provocative blackened bones, and other showy items to grab their attention.
It was only a matter of time before West pulled a precious metal — Platinum! — from his bag of black tricks.
I only wish the Tusk had predicted — as the YDB team will now shamelessly claim — that precisely these kinds of materials would be located at precisely the correct point in time to service their cynical scam. Science has clearly reached a disturbing new low.