Exploring abrupt climate change induced by comets and asteroids during human history

Clovis Comet Crater?

Internet science gadfly, Mr. Thomas Lee Elifritz, suggested a couple of years ago that the subtle elevation feature in Ontario described in his monograph below might be a candidate for what might remains after a large impact into the Pleistocene ice sheet. Like Mr. Elifritz or not, it is an interesting feature and I thought worth posting. If someone has access to Canadian LiDAR imaging I would love to see it more clearly.
Here is a Google Maps link, check out the dramatic and unmistakable outwash channel “spurting” from the southeast terminus of the feature.

View Larger Map

61 Responses

  1. My document repository is probably more relevant than the blob. Everything you ever wanted to know about an internet crank.

    On a more serious side, thanks, and if anyone is interested I could very quickly bring you up to the state of the art on the Younger Dryas. The basic result is that an impact need not be invoked to explain the transition. What essentially occurs every glaciation is that the ice sheet forms, extends lobes down into the mid continent, and then begins to decay, forming glacial lakes which are entrapped against the ice sheet by the isostatic depression of the weight of the ice.

    There are essentially three runoff routes, south through North Dakota and Minnesota, and then laterally along the front of the decaying ice sheet, northwest to the arctic or easterly across the continental divide through Thunder Bay and the numerous Nipigon channels, and then as the ice decays further, straight down into the great lakes and eventually bursting through the ice bridge to James Bay and the greater Hudson Bay. We see evidence for this everywhere, and the only questions now are the individual events and transitions – magnitudes and durations and the timing. The isotope proxies reveal a whole plethora of coupled responses.

    Any large rerouting or flooding can potentially modify ocean currents by fortuitous arrangements of the continents, and continental topography dictates the runnoff (re) routing at any given time. The continents haven’t changed much at all during the Pleistocene, and the Canadian shield is fairly resistant to all but the most intense runoffs and glacial flooding events. Thus absent any impact, the most reasonable scenario is non catastrophic flooding to the east through the Thunder Bay area, or the northwest to the Arctic, or most probably both routes simultaneously. The alternative dating schemes (Fisher) and the closed basin evaporation hypothesis (Lowell) are the least likely scenarios. Even the impact scenario is questionable absent more definitive data, and quite honestly I have all but abandoned the hypothesis subject to falsification of this geomorphism as an impact.

    There should be additional information available on this geomorphism when the coring and microlithology results come in, all I can say is that people have decided to take a look at it because is straddles several very different, very old metamorphic layers and basaltic intrusion types (diabases).

    There is also some interest because the entire scenario and area is a Martian analog, and if you look closely at Mars you can identify heavily eroded crater walls that resemble the Nipigon geomorphism. Certainly bolides have impacted large Martian ice sheets in the distant past, so there is another whole planet that these scenarios can be tested on.

  2. A very good introduction to the Pleistocene to Holocene transition can be found in Wim Hoek’s monograph and there was last winter an INTIMATE conference in Europe with a bunch of new chronological techniques and results. His group is also working on the Usselo soils as you may well know, so I expect that some time in the future these questions will be answered. The basic idea is that an impact is not necessary to explain the extinctions or the soil transition horizons. It just has to be investigated because impacts demonstrably occur and you can easily conjure up scenarios where various impacts satisfy some of the evidential constraints we see.

    I think it’s interesting how isostatic rebound might tie into volcanic eruptions, and certainly with earthquakes, and thus by extension tsunamis and the evidence they also leave. And of course, the whole nanodiamond and carbon tangent is wildly interesting, with many avenues of viable research.

  3. Hi TLE –

    Well, this is way better than Mr. Cox’s ravings.

    Tom, very good summary of the recent glacial cycles.

    Next you have to explain what starts the melt process, and that is almost certainly a northwest outflow. Clearly this outflow was not triggered each time by impact, but rqather the triggers must have been other processes.

    I can’t see the impact feature in the link George gave here.

    My best estimate now is that there were mulitple fair sized impacts at the YD.

    As far as ELE’s and cometary impacts goes, you are writing about something of which you know less than nothing…

    …And I am really ef’ing tired of dealing with confused individuals sharing their confusion with others. So please don’t do it again.

  4. That’s ok Ed,

    The rest of us are tired of dealing with senile, and delusional old liars like you who have no academic creditials whatsoever yet think they have the right to demand they be treated like the the dean of impact science. So it’s a level playing field.

    Don’t pay any attention to the silly, and hateful old idiot Tom.

  5. Dennis and Ed, please, I beg you, forever cease and desist from poisoning the clear well of mutual courtesy that is essential for people worldwide from many points of view to establish a mutual safe sanctuary for sharing creative discussion based on public evidence and reason, along with some tolerant good humor and the occasional playful pointed sally — along with the intuitive, psychic, and revelation capabilities we all also have. Lay off each other, please! Keep peace. Act as you would at a friend’s birthing, graduation, wedding, hospital stay, death, and funeral, or as you would in any Twelve Step mutual help group. If you just have to rail at someone, call or post me and curse me out — because I will LISTEN…

    Thomas Lee Elifritz crater

    [email protected]


    Figure 1. Google Maps Terrain Image,
    Latitude = 49.17, Longitude = -88.84

    geoablation shallow crater, ~20 km size,
    SW of Lake Nipigon, Quebec
    49.185750 -88.995172 .423 km el top,

    It shows up best in Google Maps Terrain, when 20 km looks like about 5 cm on a 15″ monitor screen.

    I see the kind of shallow, fairly rimless complex geoablated area that could result quickly from a concentration of air bursts with a fractal distribution, producing a chaotic turbulent storm of high pressure and above 1500 deg C temperatures for a few minutes, at a guess… how much ice was present, and how much of the terrain was already in place from ice sheet processes, I have no idea, being an uneducated geology layman.

  6. Hello everyone

    In an atmosphere of cosmic tusk, it is a great debate.

    These lakes appear to converge with the hypothesis of impact of fragments of a celestial body, probable a comet. In some places more, some less, the explosions of fragments can pierce the ice. These lakes may be the result of this process in the region.

    Paleo lakes, the palaeolagoons, they have randomly distributed around the world. Possible impactites have been found in several of them in northeastern Brazil.

    All that remains now is to investigate the rocks there, to prove its possible cosmic origin. More detailed images are welcome.


  7. You mean the bullshit you posted like the one where you said:

    "Now since the Nemesis Hypothesis has been thoroughly disproved, perhaps you’ll send Morrison a note suggesting that he update this piece:

    in which he thoroughly endorsed the Nemesis Hypothesis as the standard paradigm, while damning Clube and Napier."

    In fact, if you read the link given, you’ll see that what Dr Morrison wrote 14 years ago was a review of a book in the popular press called ‘The Three Big Bangs: Comet Crashes, Exploding Stars, and the Creation of the Universe’, By Philip M. Dauber and Richard A. Muller

    Folks should read that article because, in fact, Dr Morrison only mentions the NH in passing in. Because Richard Muller is also a co-author of the NH. He tells us: "This book is a good read, but should be taken with quite a few grains of salt."

    How you get a "thorough endorsement" of the NH, from the admonishment to take a book one of it’s co-authors participated in with a grain of salt
    is a mystery to me. But it was only an online book review. Let’s get real here. Does anyone even re-read an ordinary book review they wrote 14 years ago, much less update it?

    For the benefit of those who don’t know, David Morrison is the senior scientist at NASA’s Ames Research center. But Ed’s had it in for him for years because Dr Morrison thinks he’s an unreliable researcher, and should simply be ignored.

    But while you’ve been running Dave Morrison, and his colleagues, down all these years with your stupid, and disingenuous, ad hominem crap, at least two of his colleagues have done experiments at the NASA Ames Hyper Velocity Vertical Gun Range under his watch that produced data they presented as co-authors with George Howard, and friends, in the 2007 Firestone paper that’s central to the focus of this blog. Those scientists, are Ted Bunch, and Peter Schultz.

    And especially pertinent to the subject of this blog post is Pete Schultz’s contribution where it states

    "Hypervelocity oblique impact experiments (Peter. H. Shultz , unpublished data) indicate that a low-impedance surface layer, such as an ice sheet, can markedly reduce modification of the underlying substrate if the layer is equal to the projectile’s diameter. These results suggest that if multiple 2-km objects struck the 2-km-thick Laurentide Ice Sheet at 30°, they may have left negligible traces after deglaciation. Thus, lasting evidence may have been limited to enigmatic depressions or disturbances in the Canadian Shield (e.g., under the Great Lakes or Hudson Bay), while producing marginal or no shock effects and dispersing fine debris composed of the impactor, ice-sheet detritus, and the underlying crust.”

    That “unpublished data” they speak consists of experiments that Pete did at the HVGR simulating impact into an ice sheet. Those experiments didn’t create a single crater, just a randomized mess as the ice exploded on impact, like the reactive armor on a battle tank.

    But ‘unpublished’ doesn’t mean unavailable. Since those unclassified experiments were conducted at a government run facility, and with tax payer dollars, they are a matter of public record. And videos of them can be found on You Tube. Look ‘em up folks, they are a real eye opener.

    They indicate that instead of  looking for craters, and shock-metamorphic effects, folks should be looking for hydrothermal-metamorphic effects, and randomized patterns of melting, and flow, in surface melt formations.

    And since there has been no volcanic activity in the archaean bedrock of the Canadian Shield in more than 2.5 billion years, the smoking gun will be in a rock specimen that returns an age since melt (see Potassium-Argon dating) that is measured in thousands of years, and corresponds to the age of the Younger Dryas Boundary layer.

    In other words, there is a good chance that Tom is right about what he sees in the terrains up north.

  8. I appreciate this lucid exposition by Dennis Cox.

    I’ve been finding confirmation on the ground for melt and geoablation within 160 km radius of Santa Fe, New Mexico for 3 years:

    10 m broken rock hill with black glazes, W of Rancho Alegre Road, S of
    Coyote Trail, W of Hwy 14, S of Santa Fe, New Mexico, tour of 50
    photos 1 MB size each via DropBox: Rich Murray 2011.07.28 2011.08.03
    photos 3-5 of 50

  9. impact ejecta [melt] emplacement on terrestrial planets, Gordon R Osinski et al 2011, 2 pages: Rich Murray 2011.10.14


    2 pages

    G. R. Osinski 1,
    L L. Tornabene 2, and
    R. A. F. Grieve 1,

    Gordon R. Osinski a,b,
    Livio L. Tornabene c,
    Richard A.F. Grieve a b d,
    a Departments of Earth Sciences/Physics and Astronomy, University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond Street, London, ON, Canada N6A 5B7
    b Canadian Lunar Research Network/NASA Lunar Science Institute, Canada
    c Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560-0315, USA
    d Earth Sciences Sector, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0E8
    Received 9 February 2011; revised 4 August 2011; Accepted 8 August 2011.
    Editor: T. Spohn. Available online 21 September 2011….

  10. Hi Tom –

    It wasn’t the climate change that led to the mega-fauna extinctions.
    The impactors’ dust loads caused climate COLLAPSE – elephants need 450 pounds of food a day.

    Hi Dennis –
    I started in this 14 years ago.

    The impact hazard estimates given to the Congress are still wrong, and do not reflect current knowledge of comet impact.

    Hi Rich –
    What we have here is two individuals claiming that things they are seeing are impact features and that they date from the YD, with absolutely no evidence that they are impacts dating to the YD.

    AS you have seen from the response on the meteorite list, none of Mr. Cox’s features are impact related.
    Mr. Elfridge’s eastern features are likely more of the same, but this time impacts not dated to the YD.

    Both of them are so caught up in their hypothesis that they intrude upon those actually trying to locate the YD impacts.

    Personally, I was hoping that Dennis and Tom would have something of a “bum fight” while I was busy elsewhere.

  11. Hi Pierson –

    Thanks for showing these two bums how science is done.

    A few quick notes:
    1) 14C dates have to be handled with caution, there is likely to be neutron production in hypervelocity impacts
    2) The dust cloud at 10,900 BCE appears to have led to global climate collapse
    3) Its going to take the recovery of some of the larger impact structures to end this “debate”
    4) Iltrude is a likely YD crater, based on the stratigraphy from Taima-Taima

  12. Hi Ed

    Thanks for showing use all how effective lying, and ad hominem is done. Since it is clear that You’ve been lying for 14 years about Dave Morrison’s “thorough support” of the Nemesis Hypothesis. And that you continued to do so no matter how many times he corrected you over the years.

    But then again, maybe your reading comprehension skills just suck. And you can not comprehend the difference between a “Thorough Endorsement” of the NH, and an admonishment in a common ordinary book review to take a book in the popular press a co-author of the NH also co-authored with “Quite a few grains of salt”.

    As the senior scintist at NASA Ames Research Center, Dr Morrison is absolutely correct: Your are clearly unreliable.

  13. Theoretical question: Does anyone have an educated opinion re large, mostly ice, impacts? I’ve been reading that water ice is very common in space and that it’s likely most water on earth came from comets. Say a mountain… a cubic kilometer… of ice impacted. Would anything solid or liquid reach the ground? Any guesses as to what physical evidence it would leave on the ground? Probably wouldn’t leave any evidence over water… over glaciers? Climatic effects? Make it a cubic mile of ice, very little rock. I’ve seen speculation on secondary impacts of glacial ice, but what about primary ice impacts?

  14. Hello Barry

    I think comets are more similar to permafrost than icebergs. They may be rich in carbon, among other substances.

    Although the nanodiamonds are produced in the flames of candles, I think unlikely that on glaciers have been produced by forest fires.

    Discovery of a nanodiamond-rich layer in the Greenland ice sheet.


  15. The impact simulator covers it fairly well, and there is a movie of a one kilometer comet strike on water you can view.

    It’s not pretty. Water and ice act pretty much like rock, the bolide definitely makes it to the ground, hundreds of cubic kilometers of material is vaporized and ejected.

    Thus, this particular putative astrobleme, if that is indeed what it is (I still have my doubts, pending actual ground truth data), must be from a sub kilometer bolide or fragment of a comet. This must be so to get it into reasonable impact rates (on the order of tens of thousands of years) as well.

  16. Hi Dennis –

    In as much as Morrison has finally explicitly stated that the Nemesis Hypothesis is wrong, it is time to acknowledge that. Nemesis does not exist.

    That said –

    The impact hazard estimates NASA provides the Congress still show ELEs occurring 1 per 100 million years.

    IN fact, ELEs occur 1 per 27 million years, and appear to be caused by comets.

    Morrison sets the cometary impact hazard at 5% of the total. For the last 13,000 years, this has not been the case.

    Morrison bases his impact estimate on lunar data, but the Moon has a large nearby companion, the Earth, and he has never modeled with the three body Earth-Moon-comet system.

    Morrison continues to ignore Earth impact data, in particular recent impact data. If he’s looking at your “data”, you bum, he’s making a very good decision, and I applaud him for it.

    Morrison’s plan to turn your delusions loose on me is clever; unfortunately, we need people who are intelligent to deal with this hazard.

  17. Hi Pierson, Barry –

    It is likely that we have samples of outgassed comets in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. They’re as black as charcoal, and present a severe observation/detection problem.

  18. I’ve been blessed to find some pretty good mentors in Dave Morrison, and his colleagues. But my friend Dave didn’t turn me loose on you. It was your own stupid lies, and disingenuous ad hominem attacks, and behavior, that did that. It was you that provided the link to that 14 year old book review, not Dave Morrison.

    As for intelligence, the inescapable fact of the ridiculously poor reading comprehension skills you’ve demonstrated in using that old book review to justify your attacks, speaks volumes about your intelligence. If your reading comprehension skills are so poor that you couldn’t get the facts of an ordinary book review correct, how are we to believe your subjective interpretations of oral traditions are any different?

    And your persistence in stuffing that ad hominem lie down everyone’s throat for 14 years, no matter how many times you were corrected, says all we need to know of your integrity.

  19. Hello EP, and ALL

    Yes, it is now clear: *carbonaceous chondrite*********

    Of course I believe it likely that the objects observed by the Mexican astronomer Jose A. y Bonilla passing in front of the solar disk in 1886 are “samples of outgassed comet, the carbonaceous chondrite meteoroids.

    He’s right, we are in great danger!

    Radar detectors stations in the Earth regions of Lalande could prevent the entry of celestial objects in the vicinity of the planet.


  20. Dear Dennis –

    Apparently you are completely ignorant of the fact that every cometary impact proponent has had run ins with Morrison and his “colleagues”.

    Apparently you are also unaware that insults coming from you are compliments.

    What turned you loose on me? I simply pointed out to you that none of the features you were pointing to had been confirmed in any way as astroblemes, and further that if any of them did turn out to be astroblemes you would still have to determine that they came from the YD. Further they did not match kill zones expected from scaling laws.

    Rich took your suspected features over to the meteorite list, where your suspects were pretty well definitively shown not to be astroblemes. In the meantime, unfortunately, Tusk readers had to put up with your ravings until George removed you.

    George has a business to run, and a life to live, which is why you’re current comments have not been removed.

    Its the same with Mr. Elfridge’s “hypothesis”, and I was hoping that the two of you would have a “bum fight” for our enjoyment. In other words, watching the two of you jump and shout, while presenting absolutely no evidence.

    Kind of like the late night radio show, where one person claimed Man did not walk on the Moon, while the other claimed that NASA had landed men on the Moon, but was covering up the existence of alien structures there.

    Ed Weiler is now gone from NASA, and I will do what I can to see that Morrison follows him out the door shortly.

    In other words, I hope to see your “ex cathreda” become ex cathreda as soon as possible, and many others do as well.

    It’s a sad end for a pioneer in impact studies, but lives are at stake.

  21. Somehow I doubt that the senior scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center has much to fear from a tired old amateur researcher with delusions of grandeur, no academic credentials whatsoever, questionable academic integrity, and demonstrably poor reading comprehension skills.

    Rich Murray has never posted any of my “features” as you call them anywhere. The places he has posted on the meteorite list are all places he suspects are astroblemes. And without any input, or comment, from me.

    I have never posted anything of my hypothesis on the meteorite list. Every place I have ever written about, I have described in detail in a post on my blog. And the hypothesis regarding the possibility that very large airbursts may have significant geo-ablative properties, and that the resulting melt might be visually indistinguishable from a pyroclastic flow, is also described in detail on my blog. I rarely post anything anywhere else, unless invited. And you have never posted a single comment, anywhere, on one of those blog posts; much less anything pertinent to the science I propose.

    Everything you have ever written to me including this last pile of unwashed tripe, has been in the form of of a personal, ad hominem, attack. So you’re clearly either too small minded, or too stupid, to speak to the science.

    By the way, you should check your spelling. Especially if you’re trying to impress us with your use of the Latin. The correct spelling is ex ‘cathedra’, not ex cathreda. It is mostly a theological term that means literally “from the chair”, that signifies authoritative teaching. And it is more particularly applied to definitions given by the Pope. It was originally the name of the seat occupied by a professor or a bishop. Although later on, ‘cathedra’ was used to denote the magisterium, or teaching authority.

    It’s not entirely clear by your non sequitur usage what you think it means. Although it is clear that you never learned how to spell it.

  22. Dennis,
    apparently the old academic “chair” survives in Egypt, from ancient days in the original, literal sense. A TV program some time ago showed in a Cairo or Alexandria university a great chair in what looked like a great columned hall, in an elevated position high up against the wall with steps leading up to it, around which students gather and where the professor sits while lecturing to those around.

    BTW, hopefully Pierson Baretto is not suggesting Bonilla may have seen locusts. The haze around his objects and the brightness when off the solar disk would speak against this.

  23. Thanks Hermann,

    That fact that many other astronomers had been looking for the return of comet 12P/Pons–Brooks gives weight to the idea that Bonilla did indeed see the fragments of a broken comet crossing the solar disk.

    And Ed, for the record, I hate to be the one to burst your bubble. But George never did “remove” me from the Tusk. I was just too busy writing a book to deal with your childish, and stupid, ad hominem tripe every day. And I have friends with important papers in the peer review pipeline that’ll change the YD debates in a very big way anyway. So I decided on my own to stay out of it it for a while.

  24. The only thing Morrison has to fear is the facts, including the facts of his own actions.

    The same goes for you.

    Like I told you, my intention is to see your ex cathreda become ex cathreda.

  25. Really? Are you so stupid that you would repeat your non sequitur, and misspelled nonsense, even after the correct usage, and spelling, have been given to you?

    But of course you are. After all, you continued to ride that bald-faced lie about Dave Morrison’s "thorough endorsement" of the NH for 14 years. You got that silly idea from a gross miss-reading of a book review. And you kept riding that dead horse, and repeating the lie with your disingenuous crap,  no matter how many times you were corrected.

    The truth is that your delusions of grandeur have become so severe that you are on a mission to discredit anyone, regardless of their academic standing, who does not think the academic ‘chair’ or ‘cathedra’ of impact science should belong to you. And lies, deception, and disingenuous ad hominem, are your weapons of choice.

    But as the senior scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center Dave Morrison is the one sitting in the ‘chair’ of impact research in America. And he has little to fear from a doddering old amateur with poor reading comprehension skills who can’t spell.

    Dave tells me he does his best to ignore you. But, since you’ve decided to ride me with your stupid, and disingenuous, crap like you rode Dave all those years, I’ve found it’s easier to stuff your lies, and stupidity, down your throat then it is to ignore you.

  26. Yes, Dennis, I am that stupid. You have the “cathedra”, the “chair” which some idiots try to stop scientific discussion of facts, and you have the “cathreda”, the throne from which the Pope issue unfallible pronouncements. At least in modern vernacular latin.

    (Hermann, I enjoyed your discourse on that chair in Egypt.)

    Speaking about weasels, snakes, and dogs, Morrison set the cometary impact hazard at 5%, when major comet impact appears to have a 27 million year stochastic periodicity.

    Further, the ELE estimates that Morrison et al. provided to the Congress show a 100 mya random frequency, when they have a 27 mya stochastically periodic occurrence.

    And going to that book review you mention, Morrison has never admitted that Clube and Napier were and are correct.

    Essentially, Dennis, NASA consistently understated the impact hazard to the Congress, and as an institution does not want to handle the detection problem, when they are uniquely qualified to do so.

    Its true that my reading comprehension, spelling and memory were severely affected by my stroke. And my typing skills as well. But parts of me remain, including a sense of duty.

    All in all, I’d rather be in the Aegean, on Thera, Crete or on the shores of Turkey, or simply enjoying sites here in the US.

    But I have responsibility to see that millions of people don’t die, and used and use my resources to that end. That’s one driver. The other is to pass on the first peoples’ histories as well as I can.

    Right now, as you waste my time,
    Comet Schwassmann Wachmann 3 is fragmenting, and even its dust load may affect climate and food production.

    Dennis, I simply told you that none of the features you observed were confirmed as astroblemes, and that even if they were you would still have to show they were from the YD, when they could be from any time in the last 50,000 years or so. Further, I told you that your scenario of a SW shower impact did not agree with the first peoples memories, nor with scaling laws and kill zones.

    For that you have called me a liar, thief (that one with Chicken Little), idiot, retard, and more.

    But what really irritates me is your really racist dismissal of the First Peoples’ histories, and your interference with furthering work on Nakota memories of the YD here, when I need all the help I can get.

  27. If you want to be treated better Ed, you have to realize that I will strive to  treat you, as you treat me, only better. I demand to receive the very same level of dignity, and respect you wish to get from me. And that point is not negotiable.

    You must understand that, while I have only been writing about it for two or three years now, my intense interest in alternate, catastrophic, geologic theory, and anything related to impact science, goes back decades to my high school days. I am not new to the subject. I am only new to writing about it, and sharing what I have learned.

    And I am well aware that most uniformitarian-gradualist conditioned geologists have a completely different take on the geomorphology of the locations I am interested in. When I write about a place I always include both viewpoints.

    I have no doubt but that Amerindian oral traditions do indeed contain memories of impact events. Although the proof of the temporal, and geographic, accuracy of those memories would be to actually locate an impact structure based on information gleaned from one of those old tales. No one, not even you, has ever done so.

    And I remain to be convinced that any accurate memories exist in any form, written, or oral, that are 13,000 years old. Your claim that Indian oral traditions contain accurate memories predating the YD event is an another assumption you cannot prove. Yet you take extreme offense if we don’t accept without question your claim that they do.

    While those oral traditions can be used to shed some light on on the human side of what is eventually found in the geologic record, the science will be defined, and guided, by actual evidence found in the geologic record, not your interpretation of those oral traditions.

    In the past, the problem with getting a good handle on the terrestrial impact record came from the mistaken assumption that impact researchers have a “full suite of impact markers” to use in the search for impact structures on Earth, and that all impact structures consist of some form of crater, and/or shock-metamorphic effects.

    But it can be proven conclusively that the so called “full suite of impact markers” is nowhere near full, and that craters are not the only kind of impact structure.

    Until recently, the major fallacy has been in the unquestioned assumption that all planetary scarring in an impact event is caused by the direct kinetic impact of a solid body with the ground. And until recently, no one had considered that a very large airburst might be capable of efficient ablation of the surface of the Earth; thus producing a completely different set of planetary scarring from what we see in an impact crater.

    Another fallacy of the standard impact model is the assumption that most extinction level events are caused by the impact of a single, large bolide. And even though we have numerous images of highly fragmented objects like comets Linear,  or SW-3, ( both in Earth-crossing orbits) few mainstream planetary scientists have considered the possibility that most ELEs might be the result of a large cluster of cometary debris, and smaller fragments. And no one has ever modeled such an event.

    Bottom line:

    Very large provinces consisting of vast amounts airburst melt do indeed exist in North America. And those emplacements of ‘Impactoclastic’ rock have been misidentified by geologists of the past, who could not conceive of such heat and violence coming from above, as volcanogenic ignimbrite; even though they couldn’t find a vent, or magma chamber it could’ve originated from.

    The hard evidence of geo-ablative airburst phenomena is in the peer review pipeline.

    The revolutionary part comes in the realization that geo-ablative emplacements of impactoclastic rock  on Earth can be found all over the world in every stage of decomposition from the perfectly pristine stuff in North America to formations billions of years old. They are more numerous than the craters on the moon. And they are probably the missing impact structures we’ve been looking for in the geologic record.

    We are all in a debate that is being conducted on the bleeding edge of a paradigm shift in the Earth sciences every bit as profound, and all inclusive as the realizations that the world isn’t flat, and that it is not at the center of the universe. We all need to get used to hearing stuff that sounds extremely heretical at first

    As current geologic research of those formations is published, and sees the light of day, almost every geologic theory that was founded on 19th century uniformitarian-assumptive reasoning will need to be thrown out. And the data in the “full suite of impact markers” used today will only fill one small shelf in a very large library of impact markers.

    We live in exiting times.

  28. Mr Cox I truely appreciate this last post of yours.
    and hope that everyone is as willing to say ” we just don’t know ” as you appear to be in this statement.
    because big shit happened not very long ago and no one up till this time has it even crossed their mind of what really happened here.
    I just truly hope everyone that is involved in writing school books and the
    science ” as they like to call it.. wishes to be would be as open minded and realize just how limited mankind’s perceptions are without the witnessed guides of our past to help us see what is really there to be seen..
    but thank you Mr cox for just the tiniest bit of humility as it concerns things man can not even imagine in any life time.

  29. the only thing I have over any of you is only that I and my family have been asking some of those questions for almost 40 years , and all I got is alot of questions…. NO really good answers yet …
    but I say we give all them “scientists” at least 40 years or more because they have to disprove all their Proofs of previous ” proofs” of many things they have created…….. and it took them 150 years go get that pack of pure lies we have now in our children’s school books.. so give them at least 40 years to figure it out and let’s just ignore the ones who think they have it figured out till at least 40 years because no one will even be sneakin up on it till then I am afraid……. then I suspect it will be sneakkin up on us at around then or maybe 20 or even 30 but by definitely 40 though 😛

  30. Dear Dennis –

    If you would shut the fuck up, that crater locating process would be far further along. I had the Nakota memories of the YD posted here, only to have you graffiti them with your horseshit.

    I don’t have any problem with geo-ablative airbursts. I do have several problems when you assert that the features you see have to be from geo-ablative airbursts, and further, that they have to be from the YD.

    It was too much even for Mr. Elfridge, who left. Perhaps he has learned something about how science works by watching your behavior here.

    As Morrison is most insistent on “peer” review, my colleagues are most interested in how you managed to get into any peer reviewed pipeline so fast, and when and where your studies will appear.

    PS – Apparently it has never occurred to you that ablative airbusts and cratering impacts are most likely not exclusive.

    By the way, I don’t like the term YD impacts, I prefer “Holocene Start Impacts”.

  31. “While those oral traditions can be used to shed some light on on the human side of what is eventually found in the geologic record, the science will be defined, and guided, by actual evidence found in the geologic record, not your interpretation of those oral traditions.”

    The First Peoples’ surviving oral and written traditions are data that can be used to limit the search Dennis.

  32. Ed Said: If you would shut the fuck up, that crater locating process would be far further along. I had the Nakota memories of the YD posted here, only to have you graffiti them with your horseshit.

    I became a problem for you when you decided it was appropriate to slap me down like somebody’s read-headed step child. And apparently you still haven’t got it into your thick head that if you sling your small minded, ad hominem shit at me I will happily make you eat it.

    But yep! That’s classic and typical Ed. You can tell when he’s staring to feel a bit stomped in an argument. When he’s run out of intelligent rebuttals he get’s a bit vulgar.

    As usual Ed, you’re still twisting the facts, I do hope folks will go back over those old posts, and read them. You started it by assuming that I could be bullied by your delusions of grandeur.

    I don’t know where you get off thinking that an un-credentialed amateur, with demonstrable cognitive impairments gets the right to demand that his is the final authority on where or how, the rest of us should conduct our studies, or to demand that he be treated as if he’s sitting in the most exalted of academic chairs, and with the rest of us waiting at his feet on his every word. But I’m not going along with it.

    You blame your demonstrably poor reading comprehension skills on your stroke. But in fact, you were riding Dave Morrison with the disingenuous crap about his “thorough endorsement” of the NH way before your stroke. You picked up that stupid misconception by grossly misreading the facts 14 years ago in an ordinary book review. Your behavior in the way you handled that honest mistake says volumes about your integrity.

    No matter how many times he tried to deny your claim, and tell you that you were mistaken, you stuck to your guns… That fact alone brings your lack of academic integrity into sharp relief.

    Heck, no wonder Dave thought you were a nut case. He didn’t have a clue where you got that stupid misconception from. And you were like a moth in a candle flame: The more convinced Dave became that you had a screw loose or two, the more you felt the need to devalue his low opinion of you by beating him up with the very same mistaken assumption that made him think you were an unreliable idiot in the first place

    We see a good measure of how you deal with people who disagree with you by noting that instead of speaking to the facts, and confronting the possibility that you might be mistaken, you chose to devalue the man rather than face him. And deal with the real reason for his low opinion of you.

    Contrary to your delusions of grandeur, you do not sit upon the academic chair of impact science.

    I don’t have any problem with geo-ablative airbursts. I do have several problems when you assert that the features you see have to be from geo-ablative airbursts, and further, that they have to be from the YD.

    There’s that reading comprehension thing sticking it’s ugly head up again. I never said that the multiple ablative airburst impact zones I’m interested in had to be from the YD. I have my own reasons for believing they’re YD related. And those reasons are well stated on my blog. But they aren’t written in stone. And never have been. Show me any good, sound, radiometric data on a location I’ve been blogging about, and I’ll be delighted to accept that date, and finally have an age based on empirical data. But If I am going to base my opinion of the age of those materials on someone’s assumption, instead of detailed radiometric analysis, I’ll use my own, thank you.

    My specific assertion is that the mechanism that produced the planetary scarring of the YD did not consist of the ballistic/kinetic impact into the ground of a solid hypervelocity object, or objects. No craters will be found that date to the YD, because there are no craters. They were all ablative airbursts.

    The ground in the impact zones didn’t get smashed, and broken. It was flash melted, and blown aside like melted wax, or ice, under a high pressure blowtorch.

    Instead of shock-metamorphic effects like craters, they produced stuff that,without detailed chemical analysis, is hard to distinguish from emplacements of very hot, very high velocity, flows of volcanic ignimbrite.

    And before you go on another rant about how proof must be shown before speaking such heresy, let’s not loose site of the fact that in 14 years you have not been able to provide proof of a single word of your claim that Indian oral traditions contain accurate memories of the YD event by identifying a single impact structure. Much less one that can be dated to that time. 

    It was too much even for Mr. Elfridge, who left. Perhaps he has learned something about how science works by watching your behavior here.

    As Morrison is most insistent on “peer” review, my colleagues are most interested in how you managed to get into any peer reviewed pipeline so fast, and when and where your studies will appear.

    It’s not mine. Just a friend of mine. Give it 6 to 8 months.

    PS – Apparently it has never occurred to you that ablative airbursts and cratering impacts are most likely not exclusive.

    There’s that reading comp thing biting you on the butt again. I have never said, nor implied, that I thought they were.

    By the way, I don’t like the term YD impacts, I prefer “Holocene Start Impacts”.

    I’ve pretty much given up on being concerned about your preferences Ed.

    The First Peoples’ surviving oral and written traditions are data that can be used to limit the search Dennis.

    Perhaps, but since you couldn’t even get the facts of a simple book review correct I have no confidence whatsoever in your subjective interpretation of those oral traditions. And I have no intention of allowing you to limit my search for anything.

  33. Hi Dennis –


    There is far more than one simple book review that shows Morrison’s previous endorsement of the Nemesis Hypothesis, and everyone involved is aware of it. Now that Morrison has stated that Nemesis does not exist, we hope he will go back and clean up that mess.

    As far as what I’ve found, Dennis, you have to remember that I published before and independent of Firestone, Kennett, et al. They published on the Holocene Start impactites after I already had finished.

    People can go back and read our earlier exchanges, and your earlier pronouncements and insults, just as they can read Morrison’s earlier book review.

    Your reference to red-haired step children is racist in the extreme, as have been your comments about the First Peoples.

    Are you even faintly aware that nearly every time you open your mouth here you accomplish little more than demonstrate what a retard you are, and interrupt the ongoing exchange?

    Is that your purpose?

  34. I’d like to apologize to the mentally impaired everywhere for my last remark.

    As a whole they’re far more pleasant than Mr. Cox.

  35. I’d like to apologize to the mentally impaired everywhere for my last remark.

    Apologies accepted. Now, could you please comment on the Nipigon geomorphism as a putative ice sheet astrobleme?

    The biggest problem I have with this is the location and the timing. It just seems too much of a coincidence that a large impact would occur at the precise spot and at the precise time necessary to break an ice dam in a legacy continental glacial lake drainage basin. Certainly it’s possible, but it adds even more implausibility to an already highly random and infrequent event. As an aside, since the NASA JPL WISE mission was so wildly successful, we’re looking closely at a follow on mission using mechanically cryocooled or refuelable infrared space telescopes as a dedicated inner solar system NEO and comet tracking network as its primary mission, and astrophysics and cosmology as a secondary mission, since the JAXA SPICA mission is already dedicated to the latter investigations.

  36. Ed Said:

    There is far more than one simple book review that shows Morrison’s previous endorsement of the Nemesis Hypothesis, and everyone involved is aware of it.

    When are you going to give up on trying to stuff that lie down our throats? Dave Morrison has never written anything in peer reviewed literature, online, or in the popular press, expressing his “support” of the NH.

    It’s amazing that you can stick to that crap so tenaciously. Since Dr Morrison has never said he ‘supported’ the NH. In fact, when asked specifically about his alleged “support”, he has always replied in the negative. Nor can you produce a single document that says otherwise. But what’s your point in all of that? Do you have some silly idea that the NH is the same thing as the so called Nibiru hoax? Is that why you keep using as if it were a piece of heinous heresy it to prop up your silly and disingenuous ad hominem crap?

    Now that Morrison has stated that Nemesis does not exist, we hope he will go back and clean up that mess.

    As has already been demonstrated, the only “mess” in all of that can be traced directly back to your own ridiculously poor reading comprehension skills, stupid misconceptions, and disingenuous ad hominem.

    In the first place, the validity of any given scientific hypothesis is not determined by who is supportive of it, or not. Nor does the number, or academic caliber, of those holding to any given consensus theory, or viewpoint, have anything to do with what it. That’s not science, but politics.

    And whether, or not, any given hypothesis has a large number of supporters who are in agreement with it has nothing whatsoever to do with it’s inclusion as a component of “mainstream” science.  That is determined simply by where, and how, it is published.

    14 years ago, whether or not the NH was proven or not, the fact that it’s authors presented it to their fellow scientists in peer reviewed literature, as opposed to presenting it to the general public in the popular press, is what made it a valid part of ‘mainstream’ planetary science. It never had anything at all to do with who agreed with them, or why.

    It is absurd to think that acknowledging  that any given hypothesis has been published in a mainstream peer reviewed journal constitutes support of it, or any kind of endorsement. It was never more than a simple statement of fact.

    As it turned out, the WISE data didn’t find the Nemesis object. And the NH joins a long list of failed mainstream ideas didn’t hold up once all the data was in. But at the time of publication, it was a valid attempt to explain the periodicity of extinctions in the geological record by proposing that there might be something big out there in a very long period orbit that returns periodically, and shakes things up.

    As far as what I’ve found, Dennis, you have to remember that I published before and independent of Firestone, Kennett, et al. They published on the Holocene Start impactites after I already had finished.

    So? What’s your point? It not a contest. And the fact remains that you have yet to prove a bloody word of it.

    People can go back and read our earlier exchanges, and your earlier pronouncements and insults, just as they can read Morrison’s earlier book review.

    I most certainly hope they do.

    Your reference to red-haired step children is racist in the extreme,

    I thought you’d take issue with that. In fact I hoped you would. Please accept it as a vulgar insult in answer to your childish demand that I “shut the fuck up”

    as have been your comments about the First Peoples.

    My comments have never been about the ‘First Peoples’ they have been about the questionable validity of  your subjective interpretations of their oral traditions.

    Are you even faintly aware that nearly every time you open your mouth here you accomplish little more than demonstrate what a retard you are, and interrupt the ongoing exchange?

    Are you even faintly aware that you make it extremely easy to prove in a public forum that you are an idiot, and a liar?

    Is that your purpose?

    My purpose in the current exchange is to stuff your lies, and disingenuous crap down your throat until you get tired of eating the crap you persist in slinging. 

  37. Dear Dennis –

    Thanks for the laughs.

    Now that Morrison has admitted that Nemesis does not exist, I’m waiting for his endorsement of cometary impact as the mechanism for stochastically periodic ELEs, and for his acknowledgement of the effects of Comet Encke over the last 13,000 years. Hell, I’m still waiting for the 3 body simulation runs.

    But I would like to see Morrison do that from a position of retirement, not while working at NASA. Impact science has already been retarded by 30 years through his efforts.

    Obama was 3 years late in firing Weiler. Morrison needs to go immediately; SW3 is fragmenting, and headed our way in 2022.

  38. TLE –

    I will return tomorrow to reply to your inquiry.

    It is unfortunate that Dennis did not jump on you for suggesting your suggested impacts played a key role in the end of the ice age, and shout at you that his ablative airbursts were the only mechanism.

    But then Dennis’s purposes here are clear. Has Dennis’s style helped you understand better how science is not done?

  39. HI Dennis –

    Yes, the Ames Hyper-Velocity Gun is under Morrison’s control. It shouldn’t be.

    Once again, Morrison should be fired immediately. Obama et al missed by not firing Ed Weiler 3 years ago, and they need not to miss this time.

  40. Yes ED

    Thank you for showing us all how effective your documentable cognitive impairment, disingenuous ad hominem crap, and outright lies, can be in furthering the cause of science.

    According to NASAs website Dr. Weiler resigned from the agency, effective Sept. 30, 2011. It’s funny they don’t mention anything about him being fired by the President. In fact they have a pretty nice write up about him filled with glowing praise on his biography page. Perhaps they should have checked with you, and you would’ve set them straight on the info in that biography.

    But since for years Dr Weiler’s been another one of the mainstream planetary scientists at NASA who’re convinced you are a world class idiot with delusions of grandeur, and a screw loose or two, it’s pretty darn clear what the real reason for your hatred of him is.

  41. Look Dennis – Weiler should have been removed 3 years ago, and not doing that was a serious mistake by Obama’s team.

    Morrison needs to follow him now.

  42. Good morning, TLE, Dennis –

    I need to share with both of you an amusing story about my own crater wrong.

    When I first became aware of impact, I noticed a heavily eroded circular feature near where I lived. The rock around it was foliated, and it had white quartz which looked like impact quartz. Further, one of the colonists’s early iron works was located nearby.

    At the time, access to principle researchers was pretty easy, and I took a sample of a locally made iron horseshoe down to Dr. McKoy at the Smithsonian. It failed the nickel test, and further, the structure I was seeing was common along the fault line.

    So no crater. Boy did I feel stupid. Thankfully, I did not rush with my initial conclusion to the internet, and embarrass myself before thousands, but instead only embarrassed myself before several of the key experts in the field.

    What I learned from that was that I could deal with cultural discontinuities from impact, and with peoples’ memories of confirmed recent impact structures. But I am not a meteoriticist nor a geologist.

    I do not play a geologist on TV, and I am not one in real life. So as far as your structure goes, TLE, why are you asking me for my opinion? The same reason Dennis did? Seeking validaion?

    In Dennis’s case, I simply tried to tell him about scaling laws and kill zones. He didn’t like what he heard.

    In your case, TLE, I think you may be looking at a very ancient impact structure in the ancient sea which was compressess by the weight of an ice load.

    The diameter is so large, and the depth so shallow, that it does not look like a recent crater to me.
    And again, the kill zone does not match.

    But see above, I do not play a geologist on television and I am not a geologist in real life.

    At Tony DeRegnacourt’s suggestion, I am trying to improve my understanding of quarry usage and habitation patterns at the time of the Holocene Start Impacts. For me, the Nakota memories of it are very illuminating.

    I believe that using the artifact distribution, they may be used to locate one of the smaller craters from the Holocene Start Impacts.
    This is going very slowly, given my current physical and mental limitations; if anyone wants to send me a couple hundred thousand, the procees could undoubtedly be speeded up.

    My GUESS is that the Loydminster structure and the Iltrude crater may be from the Holocene Start Impacts.

    TLE, Dennis, If Benny had not taken the focus of the Cambridge Conference over to Global Warming Scepticism, there would be a pool of experts on hand to assess your hypothesis. While he had his reasons for shifting it over, it has left impact researchers in a lurch.

    I did what I could, and now I do what I can.

    To my knowledge, there is no one at the USGS who has replaced Gene Shoemaker in carrying on impact studies, and there is no one at NASA either. I believe that Morrison wanted to let the folks in Arizona take that role; but JPL was chosen to lead the detection effort, and after that NASA did little in that regard.

    That’s one reason why Morrison needs to be fired immediately.

    Gentlemen, it has taken me quite a while to think this reply out, and quite a while to type it. I’m very, very tired.

    Another thing I learned: Its not being wrong that is embarrassing, its what you do next.

  43. I’m not sticking up for Weiler. I too am pleased to see him go.

    If for no other reason, he should have been fired over his handling of the James Webb Space Telescope project.

    Under his leadership the JWST has gone so far over budget, and behind schedule, that we are in danger of loosing it. And since it will be optimized for observations in the infrared, it should be capable of spotting extremely low albedo NEOs that may have been missed by the WISE mission and that are impossible to detect by any other telescope. And hopefully in time to do something about them. It’s a piece of kit that’s desperately needed.

    But that’s beside the point. Your statement that he was “fired” by Obama et al is typically disingenuous, and a gross misrepresentation of the facts.

    He simply retired after 33 years at NASA. And his intention to do so was announced well beforehand.

  44. Hi Dennis –

    I do not play a NEO astronomer on television, and am not one in real life either. But from what I’ve gathered from talking with real NEO astronomers, the JWST has too narrow a field of view to be of much use in detection work.

    When Don Yeomans tried to tell the Congress that NASA needed a wide field IR telescope for its NEO detection task, Mike Griffin sat on that report, in direct contempt of Congress. Weiler’s role in that act of contempt is as yet unknown.

    About the only thing I know is that dead comet fragments are about as reflective as charcoal, and we do not now have the capabilities to reliably detect them down to the practical sizes required to deal with the hazard, even though those capabilities are within our technological abilities.

    One other thing: cosmologists regularly treat NEO astronomers with contempt, and the national science budgets reflect their contempt.

    If Morrison wants to retire now, or announce his imminent retirement, that would be fine with me. I would not wish to deny him that dignity, out of respect for the pioneering work that he did. Anyway would be fine, just as long as he’s gone.

  45. In an effort to elevate the level of discussion on this blog, may I suggest that one find the complete destruction of my Nipigon impact hypothesis here, with all the appropriate geological references and cross sections gathered nicely into one place. It doesn’t appear that his blog accepts comments. I have examined the two cross sections across the ’embayment’, there are indeed no signs of a classical impact per Melosh, and thus one is left with arguing that Paul does not incorporate several kilometers of ice sheet buffer into the resulting crater form, as well as arguing for an oblique impact of a volatile rich body and a lateral subglacial blast dissipation, which in that case would put the actual crater into the smaller more vague 10 km depression just north of the geomorphism and directly west of lower Black Sturgeon Lake. I’m no longer going to pursue that, though, unless someone finds or presents definitive, verifiable and reproducible evidence of impact markers at the base of the YD transition horizon, or if any of the samples come back from the area showing verifiable and reproducible signs of high temperature or shock exposure.

    I’m rather more interested in the ‘cryptic structural controls’ that could form such a structure, absent an impact, that would include anomalous 13 ka Glacial Lake Agassis Moorehead phase flooding through the Nipigon basin, or if possible, the falsification or further elaboration (magnitudes etc.) upon those specific claims.

  46. TLE –

    While your circular feature does not date from the Holocene Start Impacts, may I suggest to you that underlying those later sedimentary levels is a very ancient impact? Perhaps checking some type of gravity mapping of the area would show it.

  47. Things are getting pretty dead around here, so I thought I’d post what I’ve found out about alternative eastern routing of Younger Dryas era glacial Lake Agassiz discharge flows into the Lake Superior basin at around 13 ka.

    Brian Phillips has published an unrefereed account of his theory of early and pre Lake Agassiz eastern discharges here, which is an elaboration on his earlier paper entitled “Deglaciation History and Geomorphological Character of the Region Between the Agassiz and Superior Basins, Associated with the ‘Interlakes Composite of Minnesota and Ontario, which is available in pdf form here, and another paper by his coauthor Christopher Hill, entitled “Geoarchaeology and Late Glacial Landscapes in the Western Lake Superior Region, Central North America” available in pdf form here.

    These fairly definitive papers contains a wealth of information for anyone interested in the deglacial chronology of the area of the hypothesized eastern discharge routes of glacial Lake Agassiz during the Younger Dryas era, from a geoarcheological perspective.

  48. Hi TLE –

    Thanks for the links, in particular that last one.

    The melt outflow east has been worked on by many, and work continues. But the BIG problems are what triggered the melt in the first place, and/or was that melt modified by impact?

    The focus so far has been on the Atlantic Current, with very little work being done on the Pacific Current, to my knowledge. If you locate good studies on the Pacific current during the Holocene Start, then please share the links.

  49. As erudite folk we like to study all aspects of our subject. King Clovis was one of the most influential men of history, shaping to this day Western and Central Europe.

  50. As erudite folk we like to study all aspects of our subject. King Clovis was one of the most influential men of history, shaping to this day Western and Central Europe.

    King Clovis gave his name to the city of Clovis, NM because the daughter of the railroad station manager was taking a course in French history. He was one of the most influential men of all times, shaping European events to this day. His name means Famous or Honored Slayer. The first part is the same root as in Greek names like Pericles, Aristocles (=Plato). The second part as in victim, Viking (most sources misread Viking as from some other root). His wife Saint Clothilda shares the same first part of the name. By converting her husband to the Catholic faith she gave him the powerful alliance of the Church, but his own prowess and good fortune allowed him to subjugate and/ or defeat other tribes and create what today is France.

  51. Lost part of preceding entry: Clovis is a modern contraction of Old Frankish Chlodowech, the ch sound as in JSB, “Bach,”
    a raspy sound in the back of the throat.

    Also derived from the same name are Louis, Ludwig, Lewis. The two parts are Chlodo, renowned, and wich, slayer.

  52. Hermann –

    I had a giggle at mention of Clovis. I am a descendant of Clovis, as far as my family is concerned. He was the first king of the first line of French kings – the philosopher kings, the Merovingians – he is considered to be the first king of France. My mother’s maiden name – Guise – is a big name in French history and I have many a Louis (Clovis) in my lineage besides him.

    Clovis promised his wife to change to Christianity if his army won a certain battle (the name long since forgotten here), which they did. (But he never actually practiced the religion.) After that the Church declared itself the anointer of kings all over Europe – which continues to this day (even with the Anglicans in the UK).

  53. Hermann, I also would include the name Claude in your list. And there are almost more of those in my mother’s family than those with the name Louis.

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