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

Love Notes: Napier takes down The Bos on disintegrating comets in space; Tusk lends hand

115 Responses

  1. If anyone has gotten or heard about any feedback from Madden’s presentation on the nanodiamond detection and dispersal at the GSA meeting in Denver on Wednesday I would love to hear about it. Thanks.

  2. Boslough, Morrison, Chapman.

    Can’t handle heat, Comets don’t hit, and No Nukes.

    I am sure Weiler is spinning in his grave.
    WISE was launched to find Morrison’s “Nemesis” or “Planet X”,
    and instead provides data confirming Clube and Napier.

    My thnnking is that a careful study of the impactite distribution from the Holocene Start Impact Event will lead to some uncontestable geological features which will abruptly end this “discussion”.

  3. Somebody correct me if I am reading this wrong. Is Boslough contradicting himself here? :

    “However,Shoemaker–Levy 9 broke up while in orbit about Jupiter, and the tidal fragmentation process leading to impact on Jupiter does not apply to comets in solar orbit or for approaches to terrestrial planets (4).

    In this Bos appears to say that comets in Solar orbit are not subject to “tidal fragmentation”. Such fragmentation “does not apply.” Am I correct in this reading of this?

    A spontaneous breakup in heliocentric space, such as one recent example (5), would have to be exquisitely timed for an expanding cloud of fragments to strike the Earth.

    Now, WTF? Here Bos talks specifically about “spontaneous breakup in heliocentric space.”

    Does this or does this NOT have Bos saying that comets in Solar orbit (which IS what heliocentric space is, isn’t it?) DO break up?

    Do these two passages in consecutive paragraphs say two exactly opposite things? Or am I misreading him?

    Near-Earth comets have average lifetimes of at least a century before breaking up. Within months after disintegration the comet fragments would be dispersed over an area much greater than that spanned by the Earth, precluding many nearly simultaneous impacts.”

    And now in THIS passage (immediately after the previous quote), Bos is talking about Near-Earth comets “breaking up.” Yet in the first quote above he specifically said, “the tidal fragmentation process leading to impact on Jupiter does not apply… for approaches to terrestrial planets.”

    HOW exactly do Near-Earth comets “break up” if not from “terrestrial approach”? Or while in “heliocentric space”?

    Does Bos imagine them taking the next elevator to Jupiter, then riding the escalator back down to terrestrial space?

    The man is talking out of both sides of his mouth. He can’t have it both ways – unless he believes that he can say anything and that the editors or readers will be too stupid to notice.

    This seems to be a case of “How do you know a politician is lying? His lips are moving.”

  4. TLE –

    Does this give you anything you didn’t already know?



    BEMENT, Leland C.1, MADDEN, Andrew S.2, CARTER, Brian J.3, SIMMS, Alexander4, SWINDLE, Andrew L.5, ALEXANDER, Hanna M.4, FINE, Scott3, and BENAMARA, Mourad6,

    (1) Oklahoma Archeological Survey, University of Oklahoma, 111 E. Chesapeake Ave. Rm 102, Norman, OK 73019,
    (2) School of Geology and Geophysics, University of Oklahoma, 100 East Boyd St. Rm. 710, Norman, OK 73019, [email protected],
    (3) Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Oklahoma State University, 368 Agriculture Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078,
    (4) Department of Earth Science, University of California, 1006 Webb Hall, Santa Barbara, CA 93106,
    (5) Geology and Geophysics, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019,
    (6) Institute for Nanoscience & Engineering, University of Arkansas, 731 W. Dickson St, Fayetteville, AR 72701

    Sediments recording the Younger Dryas and time immediately before and afterwards reveal a rich story of dramatic regional changes in climate, human cultural artifacts, and floral and faunal patterns. Previously, Firestone et al. (2007) suggested such changes resulted in large part due to an extraterrestrial impact event. Nanodiamonds were suggested as one line of evidence, as they are associated both with meteorites and other impact events from the geologic record. The Bull Creek, OK drainage basin includes nearly continuous alluvial and aeolian sediments from prior to the Younger Dryas through recent time. Whole-sediment digestions performed on a series of samples dated across this time frame, including both a continuous profile in one location and other sites selected due to their sedimentological or cultural significance. Sediment residues were found to contain nanodiamond spikes (190 ppm) primarily in two horizons: the Younger Dryas and the most recent late Holocene. Much lower levels of nanodiamonds were found in some other layers, while no nanodiamonds were identified in many others. The total distribution of nanodiamonds was not correlated with sediment depositional type, duration of exposure, or evidence for cultural disturbance and fire. The Younger Dryas nanodiamond spike was associated with sediments with some of the shortest surface exposure ages, while the late Holocene nanodiamond spike was associated with the longest surface exposure age. With respect to the impact hypothesis, these results both confirm the presence of a nanodiamond spike associated with the Younger Dryas and indicate that these nanodiamonds were deposited over a geologically short duration. On the other hand, large carbonaceous grains putatively identified as hexagonal diamonds were found to be more consistent with graphene/graphane mixtures.

    Because of the last sentence, I read Madden to be an opponent of the YDB.

    Once again, people appear to keep addressing Firestone 2007 as if no subsequent work on the YDB has ever been done. However, this is only the abstract, so perhaps in his presentation he does discuss later research. I can’t tell.

    Even though the nanodiamond spike is there, he seems to not consider “nanodiamonds” to be hexagonal nanodiamonds.

    Once again, I will comment that graphene was only (barely) discovered in 2004 and that three years later few people were even aware of them, outside of materials science. Graphene is universally known now – especially since its discoverers won the Noble Prize (for basically rubbing pencil lead on paper). To expect Firestone et al – physicists, archeologists, and astronomers – to have been aware of barely-know-about graphene in 2007 is more than a bit pedantic and disingenuous. One cannot compare lab results with a material they are not aware exists. Madden should be addressing later papers, not Firestone.

    As I’ve said, Firestone 1007 is a whipping boy, a straw man, that opponents of YDB use with false arguments and out-of-time-sequence arguments. They pretend that because they can find ANY flaws with the initial paper that they have addressed anything whatsoever. It is as if the following 20+ papers had never been written.

    I WOULD like to see the graphene/graphane results in detail.

  5. Steve G,

    Boslough et al have nothing left but denial.

    It is all strawman games and appeals to authority — their own — in the face of paradigm shattering contradictory data called “reality.” See Shoemaker–Levy 9, Chelyabinsk, and YDB black mat/nanodiamonds.

    We don’t know what the final outcome of the YDB chase is yet. But we do know that “Gradualist” basis of most geological/archeological/anthropological science is going to be one of the casualties of the chase.

    Whether we get something called “Punctuated Gradualism” or “Catostrophism” at the end of the day is pretty much irrelevant.

    Scientific Paradigms shift when scientists those holding the obsolete paradigms die or are replaced by those holding the newer one9s).

    The Bos and his ilk are going down in exactly the way that the “biblical scientists” of previous generations were overthrew for exactly the same reasons — ignoring reality in the face of overwhelming scientific data.

    Given their behavior to date, this couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch.

  6. Trent –

    A pretty much right on rant.

    IMHO, gradualism as the ONLY meme will die, but gradualism will still govern 99.9999% of science, as it should – because the stable science that we all know and love will still hold court almost all the time. Newtonian physics and Euclidean geometry won’t go away. We all will always find them useful. I honestly can’t say that gradualism will be gone.

    Yet SL/9, Tunguska, Chelyabinsk, and the forensics of the YDB have to have their place, too, don’t they? It HAS to come down to punctuated gradualism. What else CAN it become?

    Gradualism always had holes in it so big you could drive a Mack truck through with room on both sides. In the early years that is why people like Wallace were still having to stand up for gradualism and evolution, into the 1880s and 1890s and beyond 1900 – but not much longer. Because the catastrophists by then had retired and done the R.I.P. thing, as you said.

    Ed Grondine hollers and screams at us for using the term catastrophism, because then we will be ignored. But the gradualists never did bury catastrophism, just by outliving that generation. All the arguments were still there, and some of them got resurrected by the Creationists and Intelligent Design people – which kind of usurped the arguments for us. Fortunately the YDB evidence is out there, so we don’t have to sound like Bible thumpers. But there IS no other word that is sufficient. Catastrophism.

    Big freaking disasters happened, if very rarely. But they were often enough so that the history reciters in societies all over the world were able to keep the stories of the catastrophes alive.

    And the thing that MAKES them catastrophes – REAL catastrophes, world-wide catastrophes – is that the forces unleashed were so far beyond gradualist’s imaginations that gradualists have to make jokes out of it all. When an impact causes a 30 on the Richter scale, what else CAN they do. When a mega-tsunami can be hundreds of METERS high, when 10 years ago EVEN regular tsunamis from 9.0 quakes were out of everyone’s experience, how can gradualists cope with the concepts? They simply can’t. They’ve painted a nice, safe little white picket fence suburban science that has no monsters in it, and until they get whacked up-side of the head they aren’t going to wake up. They are in denial, but I HATE using that word. It has too many connotations with neo-Nazis.

    But what can they do? They’ve built up such a gradual-only paradigm and supposedly filled in all but the last few gaps, so now they believe that they have a framework for all time.

    Yes, we will win, in the end – but how? Will it be because they woke up? Or will it be because something catastrophic occurs and they get caught with their pants down?

    When SL/9 and Chaelyabinsk, and better evidence about Tunguska don’t get them becoming less rigid, what will, short of a continent-wide catastrophe?

    Maybe a smaller impactor will help? I don’t know. NOT desirable.

    With Bos signing on to the Daulton Gang, he is going to be around forever. So don’t expect any of this to go away anytime soon.

  7. The ancient peoples did not become afraid of the gods, propitiating them at every turn, simply because the gods were little white or reddish dots up in the space. The scary gods and the dragons were not the planets that we know. They were the impactors that came and came and came again. They WERE entities to be feared. They were the gods of catastrophe.

  8. More fallout from Chelyabinsk. Estimated asteroid flux has been increased by a factor of 7. They still aren’t talking about comets yet. But it is a start.


    From PhysOrg – another comet no longer masquerading as an asteroid.


    Analysis of the Chelyabinsk meteor suggests that is was part of a rubble pile that disrupted some 1.2 million years ago. Cheers –


  9. When Popular Mechanics is talking “Death fron the Sky” Bos and the “Daulton Gang” have some problems.

    The Chelyabinsk Lesson: Beware Small Asteroids
    November 6, 2013 at 4:28:00 PM by Andrew Moseman |


    See also instapundit below:


    I WAS EXPECTING AN EARTH-SHATTERING KABOOM: The Chelyabinsk Lesson: Beware Small Asteroids. “In reconstructing the asteroid from its fragments and recorded evidence of its descent to Earth, scientists estimated that Chelyabinsk was around 62 feet, or 19 meters, in width. Yet even at this (relatively) small size, the space rock caused an airburst equal to about 500 kilotons of TNT. (The largest such airbus of the modern era was about three times that—the 1908 Tunguska asteroid exploded over Russia with the equivalent of 5 to 15 megatons, about 10 times as much.) Scientists have recorded about 1000 objects the size of Chelyabinsk in the area around the Earth, the Wall Street Journal says. However, a meteor expert tells them, there might be a million of them. And according to Space.com, the a historical analysis of impacts suggests Chelyabinsk isn’t exactly a fluke: Asteroids of this size might hit the Earth more often than astronomers had previously thought.”

    13 Posted at 1:30 pm by Glenn Reynolds

  10. Steve; Did you ever get a chance to view the pics I sent you of the dolomite pieces I have with the pinholing in them? I’m interested in your feedback on them. I read Dennis Cox’s theory on the ice sheet taking a major hit and breaking up might explain some of the lake drainages and floodings that have occurred in this region. A shatered ice bed would also melt much faster causing the rapid retreat of ice that had happened

  11. agimarc –

    WOW, that is a GREAT image of the hole in the ice at Lake Chebarkul.


    A nice clean, ROUND hole, about 20 feet across. Should we ask how vertical the entry was?

    At http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/Huge-Meteorite-Pulled-from-Russian-Lake-228116691.html this account:

    “The waiting ended today[Oct 16], when a team of divers and researchers removed a 5-foot long stone from the lake bottom and dragged it onto the shore. Although tests haven’t yet confirmed that it truly is a piece of the Chelyabinsk impactor, the giant rock sure looks the part. members of the recovery team attempted to weigh it, but their scale broke during the measurement. The last reading was 570 kg (1,250 pounds).

    Reporters on the scene say the stone broke into three pieces (apparently along known fractures). But there wasn’t much time for inspection, as Russian researchers bundled up the fragments and whisked them away after about 10 minutes of show ‘n’ tell.”

    Video (BBC): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24551407

    “The object is thought to have plunged into Lake Chebarkul in central Russia leaving a 6m-wide hole in the ice.”

    Your hole there makes me think of bullet holes in skulls – a nice round entry hole. AND in ballistics, the hole is the same size as the bullet – literally.

    Now, what does that mean?

    The impedance of the water is much higher than the impedance of the air. For better or worse, this suggests that the object went INTO the water at 6m diameter.

    6m IN and then 5 feet cross as we see it now – does this mean it was fragile enough to break up in the water maybe?

    I think so.

  12. Other thoughts on the hole in the ice:

    But ANOTHER thing about ballistics that comes to mind is that high-velocity objects go through (relatively) brittle materials pretty cleanly. In bullet-skull ballistics the exit side of the bone has a bit of chamfer, but not terribly much – enough to clearly tell which was the side of entry.

    Image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gunshot_skull.jpg

    What am I getting at? How CLEAN would the hole in the (relatively thin) ice sheet have been – if the ground hadn’t also been there (as in had it been an ice sheet on water)?

    Peter Schultz’s experiment shown on Nova’s “The Last Extinction” is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGbwzpQUtXk

    (Hermann had asked for this…)

    The ice impact is at 32:26, with slow-mo following…

    Yes, Schultz’s video is with an angled impact – it appears to be around 30° from the horizontal. The experiment impact angle seems to be quite a bit different from the angle for the Chebarkul hole in the ice, so there are limited comparisons we can make. And the purpose of his experiment was to see what kind of crater was left under the ice.

    My recent questioning is about what ELSE happened, besides no crater. Schultz mentions that “the ice around it cracks,” and the interest there was all about the lack of a crater. Like him, my first observation was, “Okay, the ice cracked. Of COURSE the ice cracked. Everyone would expect the ice to crack.” But it isn’t just that it cracked. It is that it got accelerated outward.

    (I would really like to have seen what a vertical or near vertical impact would have done, in terms of impact UNDER the ice. And if the ice was on water, like Chebarkul, what sort of hole would have been made before it all blew apart.)

    Yet, if Michael Davias’ Saginaw Bay is the impact site AND crater (which is what I am coming to see as what happened), then what Schultz’s experiment showed is NOT quite what happened – because there IS a crater at Saginaw Bay. (We THINK!)

    Still, I AM arguing that the ice broke up – aAND was pushed outward (see the NOVA video; this is very telling), in basically a circular fanned-out shape. And in being pushed outward, I am coming to think that the “Saginaw Lobe” of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) may have actually been this ice being pushed/blasted outward, and NOT a lobe of the LIS.

    See this map of the LIS margin: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/10749005365/lightbox/

    If you draw a line from Green Bay, WI, to Erie, PA, Saginaw Bay is right at the midpoint. And if you use Saginaw Bay as a center point, the bulge out into Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio makes a 180° arc from Green Bay to Erie.

    I will get into the Kankakee outwash/torrent at a later time.

    Here I am just asking about what happened. The object went through the ice sheet, yes. The ice cracked in all directions. The object continued through the ice and hit the land under it. When THAT happened, the balst went UP, and it also went OUT. From the modeling Schultz did with Stickle, the shape of the blast would have been nearly the butterfly pattern of Tunguska. As it went mostly out to the sides and up, the blast had to dive under the ice and against the ice. But the ice was not traveling as fast as the shock wave, so the ice would have had an effect on the butterfly pattern. MUCH of that reflected energy – IMO at this time – would have been driven laterally. This would have created an UNDER ICE blast zone.

    YES, the vast majority of the energy would have been going UP and out. I am not disagreeing with any of that. That would have been what drove the pulverized quartz sand shards out to the Carolinas and Great Plains. That is what would have driven the water/steam/plasma out toward the Carolinas and Great Plains.

  13. Steve;Your concept of the impactor making it through the ice and hitting bed rock under the ice sheet sounds spot on. All the thermal energy under the ice has to ceate a vast amount of instant melt water and super heated steam which could have sent rafts of ice and debris moving outwards in all directions possibly rupturing existing end morraines or creating new ones by gouging up walls of earth and rock. Now the next thing to consider is that these impactors seem to travel in swarms. Where else on the ice sheet was hit in the relatively same time frame. Multiple hits on the ice sheet could have turned vast areas of the glacier into slush. If Saginaw was not the first in then the ice could have already been compromised allowing the impact easier access to the bed rock and have wetter conditions for the ejecta slurry.

  14. Steve; The Russian Ice is much better quality than anywhere in the world, That’s why the hole is so clean and delineated, no radiating cracks or signs of water splash on the snow cover. I’m willing to bet it was totally silent also. Further comment on my last post. The Saginaw impact occurred before YDB. But if the ice sheet was already shattered and somewhat weakened then if another swarm came in about the time of YDB then an imapct like the one in Minnesota (per Dennis Cox) could very well have reduced a large area of the ice sheet to slush via thermal blast and physical shock wave. This would make alot more debris readily available for atmospheric suspension and sun blockage. Also at the speed the impactors travel in it might be possible to backtrack the trajectory and find strewn fields related to these events. I was looking at your pics on the flicker site and the one from Ontario showing the drumlin feild was interesting because it almost looks like skid marks the way the ground striations run. Makes you wonder>

  15. Jim –

    Thoughts on the multiples…

    I think I agree with something I heard Boslough say, that id breakup happened out in heliocentric space or from a last past flyby, then the multiples will likely be strung out like SL/9.

    If we then look at what happened there, the impactors hit over a period of several days (my birthday being the big one, I might add!). But they all seemed to hit at about the same southern latitude. That would suggest that whatever latitude was hit on Earth would be a likely candidate for subsequent fragments. With the tilt of the Earth’s axis, that would vary it a TINY LITTLE bit, but not much, because the tilt isn’t going to vary noticeably within the few days fragments are hitting.

    Basically, I am seeing a single small area of the circular target Earth being hit, but it is a rotating target, so different longitudes would be involved, even if only one latitude. If strung out like SL/9, over several days, the Earth would expose all longitudes to be hit, several times over.

    Doe that mean that only ice sheet is targeted if the first one hits there? Well, west of N America was not ice sheet, nor was that latitude in Europe or Asia – nor the oceans.

    So, unless the fragments are timed properly, I am envisioning only probably one fragment would hit the ice sheet.

    …We can ALSO look at that latitude and see how much LAND is represented as impact target sites, around the globe. We would not be able to use just the standard 71%-29% water-vs-land. That isn’t true at that latitude, is it? A quick gander around the globe at Saginaw’s 44° and I count about 185° of LAND (if I counted anywhere close to correct). Let’s round that to 180°. So there is about a 1 in 2 chance of hitting land – at that latitude.

    Ice sheet? I tick off about 27° of longitude that was ice sheet at that latitude. It was the extreme southern region of the LIS. That 27° is about 7.5% of 360°. So there is about a 7.5% chance of an ice impact.

    So, MORE OR LESS we would have 7.5 chance of ice sheet impacts, 50% chance of oceanic impacts, and 42.5% chance of dry land impacts.

    So, we are left with other impacts being ocean impacts OR NONE. Even if fully HALF the globe at that latitude is land. But over 90% certainly NOT ice sheet impacts, not at 44°N latitude.

    I think one ice sheet impact is about all you get. Not if SL/9 is telling us anything.

    7.5% is ABOUT 1 in 12. If there were 12 impactors, 6 would hit in the ocean, 5 would hit on dry land, and 1 would hit on the ice sheet.

    Of the 7 that don’t hit on dry land, 1 would hit on an ice sheet. That is about all there would be, I think – just the one.

  16. Jim –

    “The Saginaw impact occurred before YDB.”

    If Saginaw is tied to the CBs – which is my assumption for now – I am not willing to admit yet that the two are not connected. I am not pushing it as the same time, but I have seen dates for the CBs of anywhere from 12,000 to 297,000. Davias thinks 45,000 or 130,000. I respect his opinion, certainly, but I am not sold on ANY date for the CBs.

    I see the odds of two impacts essentially within one peninsula of one U.S. state and only being 2,000-4,000 or so years apart to be not a viable assumption. Michigan is only 0.02% of the world’s area. So the odds are 2 in 10,000 that a second impact would hit in the same area within those 4,000 years.

    Others may think that is good odds. I don’t.

    With the wide variation in dates for the CBs, then, I see the dates as being the weak argument for the two incidents being non-contemporary.

    I’ve seen dates be wrong before, so until I see some SOLID dates on the CBs/Saginaw, I don’t agree that the two are separate impacts.

  17. Steve,
    about the timing being uncertain, I found it interesting that there are three Dryas periods, Oldest, Older and Younger. All in Wikipedia articles. How many impacts were there, coming in like SL9 but in slow motion?

    Apparently Danish and Northern German peat moors have layers which seem important indicators, here is one quote:

    Blytt-Sernander sequence

    Layers in peat were first noticed by Heinrich Dau in 1829. A prize was offered by the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters to anyone who could explain them. Blytt hypothesized that the darker layers were deposited in drier times; the lighter, in moister times, applying his terms Atlantic (warm, moist) and Boreal (cool, dry). In 1926 C.A. Weber noticed the sharp boundary horizons, or Grenzhorizonte, in German peat, which matched Blytt’s classification. Sernander defined subboreal and subatlantic periods, as well as the late glacial periods. Other scientists have since added other information.

    The classification was devised before the development of more accurate dating methods, such as C-14 dating and oxygen isotope ratio cycles. Currently geologists working in different regions are studying sea levels, peat bogs and ice core samples by a variety of methods, with a view toward further verifying and refining the Blytt-Sernander sequence. They find a general correspondence across Eurasia and North America.

    The fluctuations of climatic change are more complex than Blytt-Sernander periodizations can identify. For example, recent peat core samples at Roskilde Fjord and also Lake Kornerup in Denmark identified 40 to 62 distinguishable layers of pollen, respectively.[citation needed] However, no universally accepted replacement model has been proposed.

  18. Steve; The breakup you described happens further in space. What about the impact the occurs as say an airblast higher in the atmosphere?Iknow most impactors are vaporized at that point but could a bigger one survive multiple pieces? I’ve seen pics of various impact fields where there is quite a few craters within a relatively small area. None of them look to be glacier busters but they could soften up an ice sheet for a larger piece to penetrate to ground level. Another thought is there could have been some land strikes just outside the ice but the lake drainages or the ice movement from impact could have erased the evidence. I know these are all kind of stretches but possibilities.

  19. Hermann –

    Good stuff – perhaps a connection can be found. Either by the YDB team or (unwittingly?) by others.

    The difference between 40 and 62 layers is disturbing to me, on the surface. Does that suggest that some layering is general/widespread, while some may be local causes?

    Do you have a link?

  20. Jim –

    Boslough asserts in his recent letter that breakups happen in heliocentric space, but Bill Napier ripped him a new one about that.

    When I looked it up, SL/9 was determined to have had tidal forces fragment it AS it made its last, very close pass past Jupiter – last before crashing into Jupiter. It had already been captured into a Jupiter orbit, and one of the passes got REALLY close.

    FYI, I read MANY years ago that when an object makes a close pass by a planet, it makes them much more likely to pass close by again. Because of this (I am pretty sure) SL/9 was doomed, once it got that close to Jupiter once.

    Because of both those things, I tend to think that

    Jim, I agree with you that some of those things might have happened. A breakup AS a faulty (literally) object enters Earth’s atmosphere seems completely feasible, but between you and me, until it is actually SEEN, I am not sure any astronomers or geologists will accept that that could possibly happen.

    I LIKE that that might happen, and not just for us to have a YDB swarm. Say an object twice the mass of Chelyabinsk came in and broke in two pieces – I am not sure either one of them – or both combined – could cause NEAR the damage as a more solid meteor twice the mass of Chelyabinsk.

    Personally, Chelyabinsk made me stop and wonder if we aren’t assigning too much destructive capacity to them.*** Still, 17m across is still just a baby — FOUR SL/9 fragments were 60-70 as wide as that one. At that size, I don’t think they break up or airburst, not on Earth, anyway. I think they make it all the way to the ground and go BOOM!

    *** I keep on reading about 500 megatons for Chelyabinsk, but some of the times they say things like, “The scientists estimate the total energy of the event was equivalent to an explosion of about 500 kilotons of TNT.”

    [THAT one I am not sure isn’t a typo. Other ones said 500 megatons, I thought.]

    But when it says, “total energy of the event” to me that means including all the burned-off material, before the big boom.

    Some places I’ve read where over 75% of the mass is lost before an airburst. That means more or less 75% of the BOOM is gone, too, by then. I can more easily see Chelyabinsk being a 3/4 reduced explosion, vs the number they keep using. I thought the damage was fairly mediocre for the megatonnage they talk about.

  21. Folks might note that Both comets Linear, and Schwassmann Wachman 3 broke up in heliocentric space. Both of them simply came apart in the warmth of the inner solar system like the wings of Icarus. Note that neither of them was under the gravitational influence of any of the planets at the time they flew apart.

    Neither of those icy bodies was very large at the time of breakup. So what would a really big one do?

    Imagine what the result might be if the Earth’s orbit were to take it through a dense cloud of cometary debris like that soon after the complete breakup of something more than 50 miles wide.

  22. >>Imagine what the result might be if the Earth’s orbit were to take it
    >>through a dense cloud of cometary debris like that soon after the
    >>complete breakup of something more than 50 miles wide.

    This sounds like a good reason to be thankful for Luna.

    It would clean up a good deal of such debris, especially if it were ahead of the Earth’s orbit at the time of interpenetration.

    Luna certainly had the scars and H2O in its craters to suggest it happened at least once.

  23. Perhaps it won’t be long before Mark Boslough goes the extra distance so to speak and sees the light and finally acknowledges, that like small incoming bodies like the one in Russia, somewhat bigger objects are much more frequent too. I can only hope so at least, but I am not holding my breath.

  24. No, Rodney, don’t hold you breath waiting for Bos to come around. He got himself noticed as a face of science, with his pretty cartoons. And once someone gets a taste of fame, they stay with what brung ’em. For Bos it’s computer modeling whatever.

    If it doesn’t model, he won’t be part of it.

    And he’s already on record as being a YDB skeptic. And once a scientist takes a side, it’s a cold day in hell before they change. To change would be to admit that the was wrong before.

  25. Hi again Steve great to see you here again. Yes I am afraid you are correct re “Bos”. I also have seen so many scientists go part way there so to speak, but when it comes to Catastrophism (much like Sir Charles Lyell and his narrow views), these modern day dogmatic fellows will never admit even the possibility of the Younger Dryas being caused by a cosmic deluge. Even with an asteroid or a comet on our doorstep they will likely be the last see the light.

  26. >>… these modern day dogmatic fellows will never admit even the
    >>possibility of the Younger Dryas being caused by a cosmic deluge.
    >>Even with an asteroid or a comet on our doorstep they will likely
    >>be the last see the light.

    De-Nile isn’t just a river in Egypt.

    I suspect even a string of Chelyabinsk across the Northern Hemisphere from a SL-9 asteroid/comet type break up would convince these people.

  27. Trent –

    That is an interesting point, the string of craters across the northern hemisphere… Based on my clear impressions from SL-9, those impacts were at the same latitude on Jupiter.

    Let’s take a look for cities on that latitude, just for the hell of it.

    Working west from Chebarkul on 55°+/-1°:

    Serpukhov, Moscow Oblast – 127,000
    Moscow – 15,800,000 metro
    Arzamas – 109,000
    Ulyanovsk – 614,000
    Ufa, Moscow Oblast – 1,062,000
    Odinstovo, Moscow Oblast – 139,000
    Smolensk, Smolensk Oblast – 327,000
    Vitsyebsk, Belarus – 343,000
    Navapolatsk, Belrus – 107,000
    Barysaw, Belrus – 180,000
    Daugavpils, Latvia – 102,000
    Vilnius, Lihuania – 839,000 metro
    Kaunas, Lithuania – 674,000 metro
    Šiauliai, Lithuania – 134,000
    Klaipėda, Lithuania – 161,000
    Kaliningrad, Lithuania – 431,000
    Eblag, Poland – 128,000
    Koszalin, Poland – 109,000
    Rostock, Germany – 203,000
    Lund, Sweden – 109,000
    Copenhagen, Denmark – 2,592,000
    Odense, Denmarl – 168,000
    Kiel, Germany – 240,000
    Middlesbrough, UK – 138,000
    York, UK – 198,000
    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK – 1,650,000 metro
    Edinbrurgh, Scotland – 818,000 metro
    Glasgow, Scotland – 2,850,000 metro
    Belfast, No Ireland – 642,000 metro
    Novosibirsk – 1,474,000 metro
    Omsk – 1,154,000
    Petropavlovsk – 194,000
    Kurgan – 334,000
    Chelyabinsk – 1,130,000
    Miass, Chelyabinsk Oblast – 152,000

    The total at risk if Chelyabinsk were an SL-9 “string of pearls” is about 35,000,000. Just in that narrow 2° strip around the world. With urban population being about 50% in the world (UN estimate for 2008), we would double that.

    That means that about 70 million people would be at risk – just in that 2° swath.

  28. BTW, that 50% urban? Probably doesn’t hold for that latitude. Lots of Siberia and Canadian wilderness in there.

    Still, with most of the cities listed being in Europe, there are a LOT of <100,000 cities plus rural in Europe.

    Overall, maybe the 70 million would drop to about 55 million as a guess.

    But I'd have to include this information about the SL-9 fragments, just for background:
    "Some of the largest impacts (L, G, and K) were greater that 1 km in diameter, but the density of the fragments was low, about 0.25 g/cm3. The volume of the combined fifteen fragments would make a sphere 1.8 km in diameter. Assuming a prebreakup density of 0.5 g/cm3, the parent body of Shoemaker-Levy 9 had a probable diameter of 1.4 km. The total kinetic energy of all the impacts was equivalent to the explosive yield of 300 Gigatons of TNT." http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1997NYASA.822..155C

  29. Mercury mission spacecraft MESSENGER Detects Comets ISON and Encke, Prepares For Closer Encounters


    Close approach of comet ISON to the sun, only 700 k miles (!), comes on 28 Nov 2013… The newly discovered (Sept 2012) and therefore relatively little observed comet ISON could surprise us with either a breakup, a burn up, or survival at such close range to our star.

    Time to lay on the high-SPF sunscreen….

    Meanwhile comet 2P/Encke “discovered in 1786 and recognized as a periodic comet in 1819. Its orbital period is 3.3 years — the shortest period of any known comet — and Nov. 21 will mark its 62nd recorded perihelion.” That short period means its pretty busy in the inner solar system. First observed more than 200 years ago, and known as a periodic comet for nearly 200 years already. Pretty amazing, considering those calculations were all done by hand.

    That was even before the internet.

    Now we’re observing these objects using a man made probe orbiting Mercury. Pretty slick.


  30. It would be really useful if they are planning to somehow probe both for their makeup, heterogeneity, consistency, density, etc.

    Encke with its periodicity seems to be one of the better ones we could put a spacecraft in orbit with, to learn more about comets on an ongoing basis –

    What does an outgassing/jetting look like up close?

    Does rubble fall away, and if so how?

    Encke is big enough to land a vehicle/probe on, actually. . . Something like a spider, with tactile limbs would be nice, methinks.

  31. Herman; I read about how crude oil is made. Gradualism in it’s all glory. But is there any possibility that these vast pools of hydrocarbons were created by ancient impacts burying large areas of terra firma under hundreds of feet of debris sealing it off from O2 and stopping decomposition. After that heat and PSI take over creating crude, which is 1 more letter than crud.

  32. Herman: In theory oil could be made by compressing any form of biomass then heat it to the magic temp of approximately 120c then viola–OIL! Sounds too easy. I read your link and was amazed at the variety of processes involved in the making of hydrocarbons. I had anticipated that oil would be found primarily in sedimentary stratas. My understanding is that oil is made deep inside the mantle then slowly works it’s way to the surface if it’s not trapped in strata voids. Almost sounds as if it could be a self renewing process. Slow but renewing.

  33. Hi Steve, all –

    Ed “E.P.” Grondine gets annoyed at theoretical BS discussions of “catastrophism”.

    The topic in this case is the impact hazard: what type of crap from the cosmos hits us, and how often.

    The only thing that matters here is the data, not theory. There are currently three models for the impact hazard; data bears on which is best.

    What it comes down to is what is the hazard, and how do we deal with it.

    From my perspective the rest of the discussion is just so much BS, which I do not have time for.

    Tom, the new data on the impact hazard is pretty much falling into line with my earlier estimates.

    Trent, often times Denial is based on narrow self interest.
    The politics of planetary defense are quite interesting, and unfortunately beyond the limits of discussion here at the Tusk.

  34. In fact, SW3 broke up a it crossed the plane of our solar system.

    If I remember correctly, SL9 broke up due to Jupiter’s gravity.

    On the breakup of LINEAR I do not know.

    Some people have been and are trying to work out the fragmentation of Comet Encke.

    As not only the size, but the composition of comets varies, modeling their fragmentation is not well developed.

    We have examples of fragment linear hits, both small historical ones, and large ancient ones.


    The traditions of the Choctaws concerning the Oka Falama
    [the Returned waters] is as follows:


    In ancient time, after many generations of mankind had
    lived and passed from the stage of being, the race became
    so corrupt and wicked, brother fighting against brother and
    wars deluging the Earth with human blood and carnage,

    The Great Spirit became greatly displeased, and finally determined
    to destroy the human race; therefore He sent a great prophet [the Peoples’ Mourner] to them
    who proclaimed from tribe to tribe, and from village to village,
    the fearful tidings that the human race was soon to be destroyed.

    None believed his words, and lived on in their wickedness;
    as if they did not care, and the seasons came again and went.

    Then came the autumn of the year,
    followed by many succeeding cloudy days and nights,
    during which the Sun by day and the Moon and Stars by night
    were concealed from the Earth;

    Then succeeded a total darkness,
    and the Sun seemed to have been blotted out,
    while darkness and silence with a cold atmosphere
    took possession of earth.
    Mankind wearied and perplexed, but not repenting or reforming,
    slept in darkness but to awake in darkness.

    Then the mutterings of distant thunder began to be heard,
    gradually becoming incessant,
    until it reverberated in all parts of the sky,
    and seemed to echo back even from the deep center of the Earth.
    Then fear and consternation seized upon every heart
    and all believed the Sun would never return.

    The Magi [Spiritual Guides]of the Choctaws spoke despondently
    in reply to the many interrogations of the alarmed people,
    and sang their death-songs
    which were but faintly heard in the mingled confusion that arose
    amid the gloom of the night that seemed would have no returning morn.

    Mankind went from place to place only by torch-light;
    their food stored away became mouldy and unfit for use;
    The wild animals of the forests gathered around their fires bewildered,
    and even entered their towns and villages seeming to have lost all fear of man.

    Suddenly a fearful crash of thunder,
    louder than ever before heard,
    seemed to shake the Earth,
    and immediately after a light was seen glimmering
    seemingly far away to the North.

    It was soon discovered not to be the light of the returning Sun,
    but the gleam of great waters advancing in mighty billows,
    wave succeeding wave as they rolled onward over the earth
    destroying everything in their path.

    Then the wailing cry was heard coining from all directions,
    “Oka Falamah, Oka Falamah” (“The returned waters, The returned waters.”).

    Stretching from horizon to horizon, it came pouring its massive waters onward.
    The foundations of the Great Deep were broken up.
    Soon the earth was entirely overwhelmed
    by the mighty and irresistible rush of the waters
    which swept away the human race and all animals
    leaving the earth a desolate waste.

    Of all mankind only one was saved,
    and that one was the mysterious prophet (The People’s Mourner, below)
    who had been sent by the Great Spirit
    to warn the human race of their near approaching doom.

    This prophet saved himself by making a raft of sassafras logs
    by the direction of the Great Spirit,
    upon which he floated upon the great waters that covered the earth,
    as various kinds of fish swam around him,
    and twined among the branches of the submerged trees,
    while upon the face of the waters
    he looked upon the dead bodies of men and beasts,
    as they arose and fell upon the heaving billows.
    Soon night came on,
    and the Moon and stars again made their appearance,
    and the next morning the Sun arose in its former splendor.

    And the prophet looking around saw an island in the distance
    toward which the raft was slowly drifting,
    and before the Sun had gone down seemingly again into the world of waters,
    the raft had touched the island,
    upon which he landed and encamped,
    and being wearied and lonely
    he soon forgot his anxieties in sleep;
    and when morning came, in looking around over the island,
    he found it covered with all varieties of animals excepting
    the mammoth which had been destroyed.


    In the far distant ages of the past,
    the people, whom the Great Spirit had created,
    became so wicked that he resolved to sweep them all from the earth,
    except Okla tabashih (the Peoples’ Mourner) and his family,
    who alone did that which was good.

    The rain began to fall increasing in volume for many days and nights,
    until thousands of people and animals perished.
    [likely a Christian insertion by missionary]

    Then it [the rain] suddenly ceased
    and utter darkness covered the face of the earth for a long time,
    while the people and animals that still survived
    groped here and there in the fearful gloom.

    Suddenly far in the distant north was seen a long streak of light.
    They believed that amid the raging elements
    and the impenetrable darkness that covered the earth,
    the Sun had lost its way and was rising in the north.
    All the surviving people rushed towards the seemingly rising Sun,
    though utterly bewildered, not knowing or caring what they did.
    But well did Oklatabashih (the Peoples’ Mourner)
    interpret the prophetic sign of their fast approaching doom.

    Instead of the bright dawn of another long wished-for day,
    they saw, in utter despair, that it was but the mocking light
    that foretold how near the Okafalama (the Returning Waters) was at hand,

    Rolling like mountains on mountains piled
    and engulfing everything in its resistless course.

    These Fragments Preserved by
    H. B. CUSHMAN, in


    and his Grandfather, a Christian Missionary,
    both of whom thought it “proved” the “Flood of Noah”

  36. Ed –

    You see, this is altogether too common.

    “The only thing that matters here is the data, not theory.”

    You speak of “The data” yet don’t say WHAT data, whose data, or data about what aspect of the whole topic. So your comment conveys nothing and is not useful to anybody, any more than the theories you castigate. Which means theories that are not your own.

    Such as, “Tom, the new data on the impact hazard is pretty much falling into line with my earlier estimates.”

    What? Your estimates are not theory? What are they? Lord Ed’s Laws? Do we have two levels of theory here?

    1.) Everybody else’s which are not worth crap, and

    2.) Ed Grondine’s Holy “Estimates”/Laws, which everyone needs to bow to – but which aren’t elucidated upon one whit, so no one knows one thing about what it is you are talking about. There seems to be only the conversation in your head, which never leaves your head – at least not enough for any of us to take part in it.

    You tell us about all these things YOU know, but you provide not one detail about them. Because we here are not worthy of your bestowing, evidently.

    “There are currently three models for the impact hazard; data bears on which is best.”

    What models do you refer to? Whose models? Unnameed models. Secret ones? Educate someone here, Oh Mighty Omnipotence.

    And do you not know that models are NOTHING? They are what the modelers assumptions dictate. No more. No less. Garbage in, garbage out. Or wonderful in, wonderful out? Who knows? Do we all have to ask Lord Ed Grondine?

    Until supported by RESULTANT data/evidence models are nothing but reasonable guesses*** made into pretty graphs and pictures, ala Boslough.

    Again, WHAT DATA? Which is best for what aspect of the topic specifically? You give NO CLUES whatsoever as to what the hell you are talking about.

    You talk in circles, with NO DETAIL whatsoever, like a Zen Master throwing koans at us.

    You participate here not at all, except to drop in and insult us or throw your Ancient People’s stuff out at us – none of which has ANYTHING to do with the DATA – the totally unspecified DATA – you say is the only thing that matters.

    Ed, you can’t have it both ways, saying that “Data is everything,” and then not specify WHICH data.

    You also can’t have it both ways. You can’t say, “Data is everything,” and then come and throw ancient people’s 2nd generation interpretations at us. Every line of every interpretation is AMBIGUOUS and subject to the paradigms of its translators. (HOW many interpretations of the Chilam Balaam are there, for example?)

    And that includes you, when you are the translator.

    “H. B. CUSHMAN” – Who is he?

    H. B. Cushman, the son of missionaries working at Mayhew, a Choctaw Indian station in Mississippi, observed the Indians’ heartbreaking removal from Mississippi between 1831 and 1833. Later in life he continued to be associated with them, when he lived in Texas just across the Red River from the Choctaws and Chickasaws.

    In 1884, in an attempt to criticize white exploitation of the Indians, Cushman embarked on writing his History of the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Natchez Indians from the Indians’ point of view. He spent six years renewing contacts, visiting cemeteries, observing Indian councils, and studying Indian records in the original languages. [from Amazon.com http://tiny.cc/yp046w%5D

    Now, if old H.B. was a Choctaw who was privy to the exact Choctaw language wording of the Choctaw history… It says he studied the Choctaw in the original. And with only 2 years with them and 50 years later 4 years, it is hardly possible that he would know the subtle meanings of passages in Choctaw.

    His work is certainly not DATA. Which you say is the only important thing – as opposed to, say, theories at CT.

    I personally don’t know any “theories” at CT, BTW. I only know of people discussing different aspects of evidence we come upon. Which is what this blog is about. And you come in and pontificate that no one here knows anything – except you. And what you know, you are just too busy tonight (and every night) to share – except cutting and pasting in ancient people’s (non-data) translations.

    Most here is conjecture. And no one here pretends it is more. What is your problem?

    ***http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYPapE-3FRw (see 0:00 to 0:13)

  37. For comets breaking p in heliocentric space, I suggest googling “strengthless”. Especially on http://www.scholar/google.com

    It is amazing how INTANGIBLE so many “objects” are out there. With their almost infinitesimal mutual gravity, many “bodies” can be broken up with a whisper. They are just kind of nudging each other.

    But the most amazing thing is that solid bodies can be found out there.

  38. I too am intrigued by that too, Steve. How does anything ever get “solid”? I know what they taught me in grade school…but…

  39. Comet ISON live feed


    Notice fluctuations in the tail structure and the movement of Mercury in the frame. Pretty amazing.

    Place your bets:

    Will ISON survive such a close solar passage (only 3 solar radii) to make a close approach to Earth in Early January 2014? (see orbit at this link)


    Will such a close passage somehow alter the orbit to bring it even closer to Earth if ISON survives?


  40. TH –

    Good stuff! In the STEREO-A video, it is amazing to see two separate comets in the same video. The other is identified as Encke, BTW.

    I read where its perihelion is at 18:37 UT, which is 12:37 Central Time in the US. Obviously it won’t be visible then, but they also said that some of us should be able to see it with the naked eye at around sunset. Its orbit should be taking it up where we can see it – if it doesn’t get its tail-producing material all burned up. Or if it doesn’t die altogether on the far side of the Sun – which some are considering possible.

  41. George –

    I am glad someone else is curious about those solid bodies. We are told that all the heavier elements were formed in supernovas, and they may have all kinds of good reasons for saying that. However, while iron atoms may be created in a supernova, it does not in any way follow that the iron joins with nickel in any solid body consistently so that when we see iron-nickel we know it is a metallic meteor.

    By WHAT process do the two melt/fuse together?

    In all the steps of planetary formation, this fusing one is most critical – the one where a solid body forms. Blithely stipulating, “Gravity did it,” says nothing, and, if that is the only assertion, it is a cop-out. It is like saying the Tooth Fairy did it by waving a magic wand.

    Well, gravity is not a magic wand. It is a terrifically weak force.

    I ran across a paper about planetary formation.

    In it the authors argue that planetary aggregations went directly from the critical 1m size up to 100km or 1000km size – that there were essentially no in-between sizes.

    Another magic wand, I suppose.

  42. HAPPY TURKEY DAY TO ALL THE TUSKERS OUT THERE. Maybe after a belly full of bird someone will sit back and have a revelation about the nature of everything. If not, it was still goooood. Steve; I ran across an article and pics of a star being born and there appears to be a stage in the birth process where the star spews material into space from the the poles of the star. Maybe this is the material of planets, comets, asteroids, and other bodies? Each star creates it’s own system of it’s own DNA. When the star dies the impending supernova and implosion then erases everything to start over again. I also came across an article about magnetic fields not being straight lines coming out of the poles of an object and traveling a curved route to the other pole. They have found that they swirl clockwise around the body from pole to pole. If polarity is reversed they go the other way. Maybe this is how bodies start the rotation needed to coalese into solid material.???

  43. Jim –

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

    The star birth thing as a general concept is fine. Supernovas only happen when it is a star dying, though, and only when the star is massive by some factor larger than the Sun – three, if recall. I also have not heard of anyone saying that the star starts over again. That would seem difficult with its material sent to the far corners of the galaxy – to Earth, for example.

    Interesting other thoughts, but a question or two, too.

    The magnetic lines of force spirals – do you have a source for that? It’s actually important for something else I am doing.

    How do you logic that rotataion is necessary for coalescing? For creating round bodies that may be needed, but gravity is the coalescing force, wouldn’t you think?

  44. Jim –

    I am not having any luck googling that spiraling magnetic lines thingy. But maybe I am misinterpreting.

    Dennis’ Birkeland currents discuss a spiraling of each one around its line of force (path), but it is not clear if that means the same thing I am hearing from you.

    Can you point me to that source about the spiraling lines of force?

  45. Steve,

    Your reaction is strange.

    I have not asked you to kiss my ring or anything else.

    What this is is soft data, which stunningly conforms with all of the hard data on the Holocene Start Impact Event.

    There have been books written on comets, and you can buy comet samples,
    or “Carbonaceous Chondrites”, and there have been books written on them as well.

    The same thing goes for asteroids. Again you can buy asteroid samples, iron, stony iron and stony meteorites.

    The formation of our solar system is covered in depth in those books.

    The general field is known as “accretion”

  46. By the way, if one wants to pretend that this was not a memory of the Holocene Start Impact Event, then one has to come up with an explanation of why the Choctaw would make up such an elaborate story.

    As there are other independent European records of this tale as well, it is not dependent on the Bushman’s, but indeed the Choctaw were its source.

  47. Ed –

    You don’t seem to get it that I don’t see the accretion hypothesis as valid as it stands, so I am questioning it.

    Soft data: “Soft (qualitative) data is data that is difficult or impossible to measure, quantify, and express as figures. It is subjective and generally requires interpretation. Therefore, it is often considered to be less reliable than hard data. Soft data is descriptive in character and available in an unstructured manner in the form of text or images. Examples of soft data include opinions, assessments, impressions, rumors, expectations, ideas, experience, and knowledge. In the context of strategic planning processes, soft data appears mainly in competitor, trend, and market analyses.

    Soft data plays an important role in strategic planning. It can provide subjective assessments and forecasts of future trends which are relevant for strategic decision-making.” [source: http://www.solyp.com/en/knowledge-corner-1/strategy-glossary/item/420-soft-data.html%5D

    In other words soft data belongs to soft sciences. It isn’t going to be used to convince skeptics of any hypothesis in the earth sciences, so how can it be useful, when pitted against measurable data? It can’t.

    In other words, in earth sciences calling it “data” is pretty dodgy and useless.

    It is not that I disagree that there is something there in the ancient peoples’ accounts. I disagree that one translation by a non-native speaker can give any information that can be used to actually find anything out.

    I won’t use the term “evidence” because the translation is subject to the world view of the translator and how he pieces together phrases that he is not native to, as well as things he is simply not aware of. MANY translations of accounts in Mayan codices have been reworked and reworked, by people with a LOT of training – and yet they cannot agree on the correct translations of those accounts. How is anyone to take a missionary’s one-time translation, without review or counter translations?

    According to the soft data idea are we to take the Book of Revelations as some valid and solid account of John (whichever John is the author)? Or the rest of the Bible?

    I don’t buy it. The accounts as translated are INTERESTING and suggestive, and that is really all that can be said for them.

    Even anthropologists won’t say anything solid about such accounts – and THEY are FULL of soft data in their field.

  48. Ed: “By the way, if one wants to pretend that this was not a memory of the Holocene Start Impact Event, then one has to come up with an explanation of why the Choctaw would make up such an elaborate story.”

    No, Ed, it is not the responsibility of a critic to come up with a replacement explanation for a proposed story; the burden of proof lies with the original proposer. And the lack of an alternative explanation (whether by laziness or not seeing any need to do it or “pretending”) is no proof that something is true.

    It doesn’t take pretending to argue that the account isn’t true. It is up to YOU to show that it is true. And just putting it into a book does not make it so.

    As I’ve said, I WANT the accounts to be true – but I am not going to abandon my critical faculties because of my wish.

    As Richard Feynman always argued, the biggest critics of any hypothesis should be the authors themselves. They cannot draw conclusions without also considering – and PRESENTING for all the world to see – their doubts and counter arguments, and their reasons for discarding the alternatives, so that everyone can see that they have considered ALL the explanations.

    Accepting one side of the story uncritically is sloppy science.

  49. Steve, you are pretending to an expertise in both ethnography and archaeology which you do not have.

    The Bushnells were all fluent in Choctaw. Again, there are other European recordings of it besides those of the Bushnells.

    And let’s face it, you have no other explanation for this very peculiar tale, its creation or status.

    Scientifically, either a flood strata exists ca 10,850 BCE along the Mississippi River or it does not.

    Given the extremely limited resources available for impact research, this tale in itself justifies a search through the already published geological studies to see if it has already been noted by anyone.

    If such a flood strata exists, then we MAY POSSIBLY have an explanation for it: an impact into the ice sheet.

  50. Ed –

    I am pretending nothing. I ask questions, and if questions don’t make enough sense, I question further. You don’t answer my questions 90% of the time, so I have to keep asking. You yourself set yourself up as an expert, when all you do is ask questions, too. You are a reporter, not a scientist of any kind. Therefore what you know is unstructured – as is my own knowledge base – so you keep asking questions – as do I. And I APPLAUD you asking questions. Keep it going. But when you find something and present it, please afford us the privilege to ask questions about provenance, etc. And to assess here the place such evidence can have in the overall discussion.

    If there are other English-language accounts of the Choctaw account, would you mind presenting them so we can compare? In your book you do this, and it is a god approach. Also, upon what do you base Bushnell’s fluency? His bio mentions very little that reflects on this, IMHO.

  51. Ed –

    You also do not address the weaknesses in soft data. Are you accepting that soft data is, essentially, subjective and therefore unreliable without quantitative data to support it?

    Also, somehow you seem to have gotten the mistaken idea that I don’t sign on to a ~10,800 impact. I would ask where you got that idea, except asking seems fruitless, since you answer so few questions.

    Ed: “Scientifically, either a flood strata exists ca 10,850 BCE along the Mississippi River or it does not.”

    What does the Choctaw have to do with the dating – specifically – of such a flood strata? There is no date in their account, not in what you present, anyway. While we all here want to tie the two together, the discussion about how solid of evidence/data the Choctaw account is, this has nothing to do with the dating, per se. While it is likely the two are mutually supporting, the Choctaw account contributes nothing solid to the YDB/HSIE discussion with the scientist’s.

    We don’t even have the impact accepted yet. Only after that is done will any accounts have any pertinence. For now, honestly, they are fluff. They will not sway one person except the ones wanting to place a human narrative to the event. And there will be a time for that, but until the impact is accepted. . .

    Now is the time to deal with the impact and get it accepted. Your ancient people work will be useful later, for sure. I hope like hell that you stay around long enough to see that day.

  52. Steve –

    Either there is a flood level ca 10,850 BCE from an ICE IMPACT,

    or the Choctaw over some 13,000 years ellided memories of the Holocene Start Impact Event with their memories of the drainage of Glacial Lake Agassiz.

  53. A review of the existing hard data:

    The global dust loading has been demonstrated by ice cores.

    The impactites have been mapped, both from archaeological sites and from strata in eruption studies of volcanoes in the Pacific Norhtwest. At the highest concentration of them atroblemes may exit.

    Studies of the Mississippi drainage exist, and need to be looked at.

  54. Finally, I would like to thank the Choctaw Nation for their wonderful hospitality at their Casino and Tribal Visitor Center.

    That leaves me with the gasoline and wear and tare on my car to recover.

  55. Please note that the Comet ISON seems to be like Schrodinger’s Cat, it seems to be both dead and alive and is awaiting the Hubble Telescope’s more sensitive instruments for final determination.

    In either case, ISON seems to have broken up to some degree.

    De BOS had some ‘splainen to do.

  56. Steve; I found that item about spiralling magnetic lines by accident and didn’t pay attention as to where I was. Figured I’d remember. Wrong!!! Same thing with the star birth. I’ll keep looking for these and hopefully I’ll find them. My idea about the dust clouds starting rotation is just a concept I had read. I have to agree it seems to be contradicting. If something is rotating centrifugal force should throw everything out and away unless gravity is strong enough to hold it together. At what point does an object have gravity? Does this put us back to the question of strengthlessness?

  57. Steve; This is non- tusk related but interesting. A company in Brazil says they have put together a motor that runs on gravity. Supposedly it runs until the machine breaks down and it can drive a 30 kw generator. They aere also building one in Gilman Ill. Their web site has pics but no video not sure why. http://WWW.rarenergia.com.bra That will get you to their site but you will have to scroll through bra web sites also.

  58. steve; I found the magnetic vortex video. Type in magnetic rotary vortex. and ther are a couple of themm showing the concept. One is Magnetic Vortex revelation by Magnetflipper and the other is A closer look at magnetic vortex

  59. Ed: “Either there is a flood level ca 10,850 BCE from an ICE IMPACT,

    or the Choctaw over some 13,000 years ellided memories of the Holocene Start Impact Event with their memories of the drainage of Glacial Lake Agassiz.”

    Ed, can you please show us where the Choctaw account mentions 13,000 years ago?

    How do we know it wasn’t some other period?

  60. ED:”A review of the existing hard data:

    The global dust loading has been demonstrated by ice cores.

    The impactites have been mapped, both from archaeological sites and from strata in eruption studies of volcanoes in the Pacific Norhtwest. At the highest concentration of them atroblemes may exit.

    Studies of the Mississippi drainage exist, and need to be looked at.”

    Yes, we are all fully aware of all that, Ed. Or haven’t you been paying attention?

    And I am arguing that THAT stuff is valid evidence, but not the Choctaw account not eve written by a Choctaw.

    None of that stuff you mention addresses the “soft data” point. You are dodging the issue.

  61. Trent – GREAT comparison with Schrodinger’s Cat. A good laugh!

    I REALLY liked the one video with the fuzz coming out from behind the Sun.

    Pardon my slowness, buy I have to ask: What is the Bos reference? I am missing something.

  62. Jim –

    “Steve; I found that item about spiraling magnetic lines by accident and didn’t pay attention as to where I was. Figured I’d remember. Wrong!!! Same thing with the star birth. I’ll keep looking for these and hopefully I’ll find them. My idea about the dust clouds starting rotation is just a concept I had read. I have to agree it seems to be contradicting. If something is rotating centrifugal force should throw everything out and away unless gravity is strong enough to hold it together. At what point does an object have gravity? Does this put us back to the question of strengthlessness?”

    There are two ways to understand the spiraling point you made, so partly I am trying to understand which way to take it.

    The spiraling as material falls in – I think it is reasonable and might be connected to the right-hand law of electrical fields. (Just a speculation.)

    As to the centrifugal force affecting in-falling material, it is the balance of gravity with the angular momentum that is at work. The centrifugal force won’t be more than enough to maintain that balance – as I understand it – it is just a resultant effect, not a force acting upon it from outside.

    Two objects ALWAYS have a gravitational attraction, no matter how far away. There is no threshold. It is G*m1*m2/d^2 if I recall. The larger the distance the smaller the gravitational attraction (as the square of that distance), but it still is above zero.

    It is the m1 and m2 that determine the strengthlessness (or not) of an aggregated “body.” Since G is such a small number – 6.67428 * 10^-11 – that it takes really big masses to produce a sizable gravitational force between them. Even if D is really small – say a foot or less – two decent sized objects simply don’y have any gravity between them to speak of.

    This is easy to demonstrate: Hang a bowling ball and a big rock from strings and see how much the pull toward each other. The exact same situation exists out in space, except for the resistance of the air between the bowling ball and rock, and the very low stiffness in the string suspending them.

    Now, to get an idea of strengthlessness, picture the bowling ball being one of the pieces of “dust” near a comet. And let the rock be as large as Mt Rushmore. They will – in space – if given enough time, bump up against each other, gently, and perhaps come to rest against each other. You could probably put a piece of styrofoam in between them, and see how much the styrofoam is squeezed. It will be almost not measurable or visible. Even water between them (if warm enough) might be enough to keep them apart, just with its surface tension.

    And if another object comes and bumps the big rock, the bowling ball will likely be pushed away – to fall back, in time.

    As to this bumping, go look at a metallic meteor sometime. That iron is not just iron dust. It is melted together. Why do I say that? Because as mechanical engineer I know what processes are NEEDED to produce steel of any strength. You can’t just put iron dust into a pile and expect it to turn to solid iron. It takes HEAT to melt it. Yes, the iron molecules were made (according to the present best understanding) in a supernova explosion. In the process they were flung out in all directions. They were certainly hot enough to melt (hotter for a while) – but they were all moving out in diverging directions. One is tempted to ask how the gravitational attraction of particles going out on slightly different angles ever had enough force great enough to act on them more than their gradually increasing distance from each other. The latter is increasing; is the gravity enough to make that decrease rather than increase? And did they stay hot enough long enough so that when two iron particles/atoms/molecules finally did touch each other, that they could melt together?

    Since meteors landing on Earth have been subject to melting in the atmosphere, what remnant is there of their pre-entry melting? I have NO idea.

  63. Jim –

    From a real-world perspective on that 30kw gravity mechanism:

    1. My blow dryer does 2 kw, so this huge thing produces as much as 15 of my blow dryers. Does that make sense to you?

    2. I have never seen such over-design in my life. That structure would hold up the Empire State Building.

    3. Those look like 12″ wide flange beams. I base that on the fork lift blade slots on the bottom of the pallet in the last photo. Such fork lift blade slots are usually 2×4 height inside. Being that Brazil uses metric, I found one size that looks about right — W300x150 metric wide flange beam, which weighs 28.4 lbs/ft. This size is [email protected]#@[email protected]

    4. Let’s assume that the columns (the vertials) are the same size. They are each mounted with TEN bolts. WOW – holy sheit, Sherlock!

    5. The second level beams (horizontal) are even BIGGER. And boxed together (!!!!!!???????) to support the pillow block bearings.

    6. Overall that structure could support one end of the George Washington bridge. EASILY. Doing this for 30 kilowatts makes no sense. If rigidity is the aim, ehy could have done it with more diagnoal braces. But the diagonals shown are superflous in their present locations.

    7. Literally, I think the same support could be done with 80% less steel usage. If not 90% less. That means the overkill is about 1000%, more or less.

    8. To me it looks like whoever designed that had never designed something in his life. Trust me, I’ve seen designers who don’t know what they are doing, and the make human staircases that would hold an entire elephant herd. I am NOT kidding: This design is ludicrous. That thing would survive a direct H-bomb hit.

    10. The mechanism? Rube Goldberg.

    11. Cost? OMFG. I give credit to whoever put up the money, because he must be REALLY stinking rich to be able to throw that much money away.

    12. Functionality? Lordy, there are about 32 gizmos/cranks, each offset around the crankshaft, and they crank more than one revolution for the entire 32 set. I can see what he is trying to do there. But for less output than 1kw per gizmo/crank?

    13. The internal efficiency losses in that would be VERY large.


    I am stupefied at how amateurish all that is. It is mindbogglingly excessive for what power they claim to get from it.

    I’ve got an email in to the best senior automation design engineer I know. I will relay his impressions when they come in…

    Senior design mechanical engineers are basically the most down-to-earth people on the planet.

    Conclusions: 1. This thing is garbage. 2. This thing is really garbage.

  64. Steve; As to the spiraling concept this is what I have read about stars and planets etc forming– the dust and matter starts to collect for whatever reason be it gravity, magnetic attraction, or just a whole lot of stuff in one place, somewhere in time it starts to rotate and condense becoming hotter and hotter until melting of the matter occurs. I’ve also read that the earth’s core and stars are nickle-iron in composition. Could this be the the source of nickle-iron comets, asteroids etc? As stars go super nova or planets collide or are destroyed by impacts they give off all this matter in the form of chunks and dust and it’s all out there travelling through space until such time as it starts to collect again somewhere else. As for the gravity machine, you seem to be of the same opinion as me that that there is lot of machine for not alot of Kw production. Maybe once this thing is up and running they may find it can produce more power than they figured on. Probably not. I wonder why Inconbrasso is building one of these things when it appears to be experimental at best? Did you ever do any teaching? You would be good at it. You make make alot of these theories and formulas easy for this rock head to understand. And that’s not easy!

  65. Hey, Rock Head – (LOL)

    Thanks for the compliment. If I had been a teacher I’d have gotten tarred and feathered – WAY too many iconoclastic ideas in my head!…LOL

    So far the best idea I know of of how the comets and meteors have iron and nickel is the late Tom van Flandern’s exploded planet. He was far from the first one to come up with it, but he was an astronomer and came up with page after page after page of reasons it makes more sense than the (IMHO fantastical) Oort cloud. An exploding planet would have thrown planetary material – including the core – out in all directions. Some up, some down, some ahead in the orbit, some back along the orbit, some in toward the Sun, some far out into the outer reaches of the Solar System. The stuff thrown along the orbit, back or forth, would have become asteroids. That thrown toward the Sun would have either been absorbed by the Sun or rounded it to be thrown out to the far reaches of the Solar System like the outbound materials. It explains WHY there are high inclination comets and asteroids. It explains why the terrestrial inner planets and all moons are covered with craters. It explains why meteors and comets have quite varying compositions. It explains a lot more than just those things.

    I think it explains why there are an (est.) 80 million objects the size of the Chelyabinsk meteor. It explains why the Solar System is a dangerous place.

    But van Flandern became a pariah because of thinking for himself.

    As to the gravity machine, the only possible reason I can see for putting those 12″ wide flange beams (“I beams” is the wrong term, BTW) on such close spacing is that they don’t want the shaft deflecting. But I GUARANTEE that that much steel was unnecessary. A decent design engineer would have given them adequate rigidity with 80% less steel. That designer was a freaking IDIOT (yes, caps is necessary – he is THAT bad). I think even the arms are 200-300% overkill.

  66. Steve; Those are the very reasons you’d be a good teach– nothing is sacred. If it is, all the more reason to question it. Would star supernovas qualify for adding space debris to the mix? You figure all this debris going in all directons at once you would have a good chance for things to come together and Gel.

  67. I think the two ways to learn something best is to either teach it or play devil’s advocate.

    Also, if you look back to the end of the 19th century it is funny the things that they assumed were true and now are known to not be true. They were every bit as certain as we are now – essentially no more and essentially no less. But they were wrong. We should learn from that, that certainty does not make something true. In fact it can make one even MORE wrong than just wrong.

    …According to Hoyle (perhaps literally, but a different Hoyle), i.e., meaning according to the mainline thinking, supernovas certainly do add space debris. With the included angle subtended by the Solar System with a supernova at its center, I’d personally think the amount entering the Solar System is quite minimal, but they don’t seem to think so. But if Proxima Centauri, 4 light-years away went supernova, and then two plasma-ized particles of matter went flying out from ground zero of that explosion at, say, only 0.0001 arc seconds different angles (about 0.000000003 arc degrees) would be about 39 million kms apart by the time they got here, if my spreadsheet math is right. That is about 1/4 the diameter of Earth’s orbit.

    AND that is occurring in 3 dimensions, not just in the Ecliptic. So if one particle hits the Sun the nearest other particles will be out about 40% of the orbit of Mercury from the Sun. Essentially all of the particles would be out of the ecliptic and whizzing through at some high proportion of the speed of light. I simply don’t see any of them interacting with planets or asteroids on their way by. In 3D, the particles at 40% of the orbit of Mercury are in a circular pattern with about 15 of them in a halo. Going WAY fast, faster than escape velocity from the Sun. At half the speed of light they are going more or less 5 THOUSAND times faster than the normal meteor or comet.

    I ALSO don’t see them going out at angles that tight. So the above is a conservative picture of things, as I see it.

    YES, going back to their beginning, they might try to interact as they are leaving the supernova, but the outward force producing the outbound velocity is so high that it governs. It would be quadrillions of times stronger than the attractive forces, so vector addition would be trivially different than straight radial line trajectories.

    By the time they got here, they would be so far from each other as to make mutual interactions also trivial. In this case the term “trivial” means “essentially zero.” I think that is how astronomers use the term.

    So, how do supernova particles STOP here IN THE BEGINNING? When the solar system wasn’t even a dust cloud yet. To become a dust cloud, the particles have to be relatively stopped – relative to the speed of light, anyway. If they are clipping through at, say, 75% of C, they aren’t catchable. The old escape velocity thing. The energies of the particles are immensely high. (See http://cds.cern.ch/record/621230/files/0306226.pdf and try to understand it…) It looks to me like they are talking about energies of 10^14 eV, about 100 trillion electron volts. In the fusion of 4 hydrogen atoms into one Helium atom the reaction produces about 25MeV, or 25 million electron volts 2.5×10^7 eV. So, the supernova is about 4×10^7 as energetic as a nuclear fusion. EACH one of the particles in the supernova is imbued at its maximum with that much energy, in the span of the duration of the explosion (which occurs over SOME time span).

    I don’t have enough knowledge to say if those are cosmic rays themselves or not. But they certainly aren’t matter as we commonly know it.

    Even if they tried to form the solar nebula while on the fly, the particles are too small to interact with each other. That would mean the nebula never forms. But, of course, SOMETHING happened to make the Sun and its planets condense/form/magically appear.

    So, how do the nearby supernova particles, with all that energy/velocity, slow down – all at the same time? How do they go from ~150,000 km/sec to merely 30 km/sec or so? And where did the extra energy go to?

    Can we invoke a collision of the wave fronts of two or more supernovas? I don’t see how: The particle “cloud” is far too tenuous for one to affect the other in any non-trivial way.

    And that is talking about the entire Solar System, including the Sun. Maybe THAT is where the excess energy went to, from the particles. Maybe that is what ignited the fusion in the Sun. But how did it get from the particles to the Sun? How did they all conveniently stop and start going do-se-do with each other? Did Lawrence Welk start playing a polka?

  68. I think this is all TH’s domain, and I am sure he will have a good laugh at my pedestrian thinking… LOL

  69. Steve,
    Since you mentioned gravity, you might find this interesting.
    Humboldt state university, in Arcata Ca, is conducting an quantum gravity experument.
    They are using a torsion pendulum to measure gravity at the quantum level.
    As I recall, two 3mm spheres will be suspended from fibers and placed within .001″-.002″ from each other. They have designed a way to measure a rotational displacement of a nano radian.
    If you were to take one of the spheres, place it in san diego, and view it from the campus in Arcata, the angle subtended by the sphere is a nano radian.

  70. Cevin –

    How is rotational movement going to happen from having those balls close together. I admit that quantum gravity is over my head, so I don’t know what is supposed to happen.

    It kind of seems weird that the balls are measured in mm and the distance is measured in inches. Just sayin’…

  71. Jonny –
    From the second link:

    “… If it does, Einstein’s celebrated theory might take second place to more recent string theory…

    Am reading a book on the failures of physics for the last 40 years, and the one big thing is string theory’s inability to be tested empirically.

    So I am quite surprised to hear this put in that context. I wonder if the author is getting his facts right. For an undergrad to leapfrog all the big minds on this – really?

    I’ve had my doubts about Einstein’s work for a long time, but it is too far over my head for my opinion to mean anything at all. But I have even less confidence with string theory.

    With the current stagnation in physics, I am wondering if they are assigning some meaning to this experiment that isn’t really there.

  72. Jonny and all –

    Sheldrake throws in a bit of a curve on the idea of constants in science:


    In it he quite literally suggests that our constants are not really constant. Some of it can be said to be due to the limits of measurements, but he doesn’t stop there. He shows in his various writings that no, the constants are not just being poorly measured – they DO change. No one wants to hear that, of course. Constants aren’t called “constants” for nothing, after all! But he makes solid points. And he is no idiot, either, having been a professor of biology at Cambridge and now being semi-retired.

    I invite others to see this (banned) TED Talks presentation: “The Science Delusion” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zamrs3nE9ys

    Win, lose, or draw, I like Sheldrake’s ability to keep questions open in his mind, to give us a chance to re-open the various questions for discussion (whether or not any single, immediate crowd opens them or not).

    In some ways one might call him an iconoclast, in the purest meaning of the term. But I see him instead just asking why a question has been shut off to discussion in the first place.

    Jim suggested in a friendly way recently that I am someone who is not afraid to question things. I took it as a compliment. But Sheldrake is way out ahead of me on that curve. (I am TRYING to keep up a dialog with him via email, but I keep getting distracted by Spratleys and Michigan and other things.)

    And why NOT question them from time to time? If there are holes in them (for example evolution – which is not one of Sheldrake’s things, really), why should those holes not be acknowledged and thus be open for new inquiries into their nature?

  73. Some other “soft” evidence

    The simultaneous global extinction of mega-fauna is indicative of a global climate collapse. These can be caused by volcanic dust loads, cometary dust loads, and combinations of the two.

    The switch from socketed clovis points to smaller directly hafted points to hunt smaller game.

    The abandonment of quarries is indicative of a human population decline. A reduction in the number of points manufactured indicative as well.

    cultural discontinuities, in other words.

    The use of soft data of recent impact events is to guide the search for hard data.

    This does not include discussion of impact mega-tsunami and their effects and indicators.

    That is impact science.

  74. Steve, I know Dennis is convinced he has an impact structure.
    But his scenario does not agree with the known kill zone.
    Nor does his “feature” have an impact origin.

  75. Hi Steve,

    Not real clear why Ed puts “feature” in quotation marks. You will never find it used in anything I’ve written. But folks might note that in all of Ed’s attacks on me he has never ever mentioned a specific “feature” or location; much less quoted something I’ve actually written about that place. Or any of the known science that may have been done on that. This is because at it’s root, his problem with me has always been purely personal. It was never really about the work I’m trying to do at all.

    For the record, I can show undeniable proof that Ed trashed my work here on the tusk for years without ever really reading a word of it. And that he did so for purely personal, and hate filled reasons that had nothing whatsoever to do with the science in question. It’s not clear if his apparent inability/willingness to become genuinely informed about what he’s attacking is related to laziness, or if he just has residual reading comprehension issues as a consequence of stroke damage. But I’m in good company. Heck, he trashed a friend of mine named David Morrison over at NASA with his unique style of non sequitur personal ad hominem attacks for more than fourteen years, all over over a silly book revue Dave did way back in the day that Ed mis-read completely. I guess after Dave started to ignore and disregard him Ed’s hatred for David Morrison knew no bounds.

    Likewise, he will probably never forgive me for refusing to accept his self professed, and completely unverifiable claims to expertise and absolute academic authority.  But since he has no academic credentials at all, then without the endorsement of real scientists there is no choice but to take every thing he says with a grain of salt, even the stuff that makes perfectly good sense. And even after  years of looking I still can’t find a real planetary scientist, not at NASA, or anywhere else for that matter, who doesn’t think he’s an unreliable researcher. They all advise me that it’s best to simply ignore him. And that’s hard to do when he makes it personal.   

    There is a very clear pattern to Ed’s behavior here though. When the science in question is over his head, or if the discussion does not acknowledge him as the only absolute authority on impact science, or if he has no valid response, he will always respond with the logical fallacy of a personal ad hominem attack.

    So here we go again.

    Simply put though, regarding my work, or theories, Ed remains completely uninformed and clueless.

  76. Steve,
    My bad , I dropped a decimal point converting microns to inches, The Humboldt state experiment is measuring gravitational forces across a distance of 10-20microns, which is .0004-.0008″
    As a machinist/ engineer that works with machines and equipment from all over the globe I’m used to working in dual units. English or metric doesn’t make much difference to me,
    In fact I had to send a print back to the originating engineer, in Toronto for a clarification, his prints were all in metric, our cnc’s are all english, so I had to convert his whole print to English to.program the feature the customer wanted.
    His print spec’ed a feature that would end up with .045″
    wall thickness 4″ deep in cast iron. All I wanted , was to confirm that dimension and he got mad and faxed it back note saying “I only work in ISO dimensions, convert to ISO and resend”,
    Really? the guy couldn’t pick a calculator and convert the one dimension I needed confirmation on.
    Anyhow, the Humboldt experiment is intended to varify aspects of string theory.
    And as far as the torsional aspect goes, I believe the earths gravity pulls on the spheres enough to negate the attractive force and it is converted into rotational movement.
    I might be wrong, but I believe that is how it works.

  77. Cevin –

    Based on what I read of the Cavendish experiment, the gravity force was a secondary issue, not the main one. Correct me if I am wrong.

    He measured the movement of the smaller balls toward the larger balls, all of which centers were on the same height and same radius from the central wire. That angular movement Cavendish translated into a certain torque force experienced by the central hanging wire, which he had calibrated (before or after, not sure).

    The gravity aspect he used to determine a density for the entire Earth. He did this by simply measuring the smaller ball’s weight. (With gravimetric variations at different points on the surface, this seems like it must have given a value long since modified.)

  78. Dennis; You’ve got good work. You make the subject readable and real. Don’t let one person with what ever agenda he has use up your valuable time and energy. Just take one large step up and keep moving, don’t look back.

  79. Dear Dennis –

    Do not propose a kill zone from an impact that does not agree with the kill zone.
    If you insist on doing so, don’t expect me to not point it out to everyone.

    Dennis I pasted Paul’s comment on your claimed impact”feature” here at the tusk.
    I did that once, and I will not have you waste my time doing it here again and again.

    Do not expect me to teach you scaling laws.

    Given your history, your judgement of my former work, is reflective of your complete lack of knowledge of the field.

    Last year, there were a lot of 2012 end of the world nuts who did not like me very much.
    You and Morrison can get together with them.

  80. Steve –

    Comets and asteroids are very different.
    You may not “believe” in the Oort Cloud, but it is a demonstrated fact.

  81. Steve and Ed; I found a site that is quite interesting. I was looking for information on ancient Mississippi flood strata and came across this site Ooparts and Ancient high technology The Boneyards III very interesting concepts there. you might enjoy the read

  82. Ed Said:

    Steve, I know Dennis is convinced he has an impact structure. But his scenario does not agree with the known kill zone.

    I’ve written dozens of articles in the past few years about suspect geomorphology. And while I have expressed a few speculative alternative , and purely hypothetical possibilities for those locations, there is nothing in anything I have ever written that  says I am “convinced” of anything except that I do not automatically believe that the old school gradualist geologists of generations past have got it right. 

    So, really Ed, since I’ve written about many places, just exactly which hypothetical scenario of mine are you taking issue with? And since nothing I’ve written in any of those articles says anything about a “kill zone”, please do tell us where this “known kill zone” you speak of is. And who else knows of it?

    Nor does his “feature” have an impact origin.

    That sentence is ridiculously devoid of meaning Ed. Your use of “feature” (What’s with the quotation marks?) could mean anyplace, or anything. So it’s an empty statement. And there is nothing in it one can respond to.

    I’ve written about the geomorphology of hundreds of locations in North America. One’s in Northern Minnesota. But most of them are in the American Southwest.  So really, which one of the locations I’ve been studying, and writing about for the past few years is the nebulous and completely undefined feature you’re so damned obsessed with? And where did I write about that place?

    Ed Also said:

    “Do not propose a kill zone from an impact that does not agree with the kill zone. If you insist on doing so, don’t expect me to not point it out to everyone.”

    Reality check: I have never “insisted” or said anything about a kill zone in any of the articles I’ve written or published anywhere. That’s something Ed pulled out of  own Delusional view of reality.

    There was however, a thread here on the Tusk three or four years ago where Ed took  issue with something I had posted about about a hypothetical ablative impact by an air bursting meteor.

    At the time, and without ever having read the article of mine that was at heart of that thread at the time, Ed assumed that he knew exactly what was said in it.

    And what’s worse, since he had never really read a word of the article in question he began to make confusing non sequitur demands and comments based solely on what he only imagined that article said. As a result, many of those comments had no rational or logical connection to anything I had really written. They still don’t.

    Ed demanded that I apply scaling laws to what he imagined was in that Purely hypothetical work. And when I said that the idea of ablative airburst phenomena’ was new enough that scaling laws had never been applied to them that’s when things started to get downright crazy, and insulting.

    Ed claimed that said work had indeed been done, and that only an idiot would be unaware of it. And knowing damn well that no such work had ever been done. I called him a liar, and demanded a peer reviewed reference. I’m still waiting for that one.

    That whole confusing, non sequitur tirade made perfect since one day after more than two years when he found the very article that thread was about but posted without a by-line on another blog. He didn’t know it was mine. But when he saw my name above one of the comments below. He asked:

    “Dennis, why haven’t you told us of this Gentleman’s excellent work before?”


    After more than two years of being trashed about it on the Tusk by him the only way Ed would have failed to recognize that article was if all that time he had never really read a word of it!

    So from the very beginning everything Ed assumed, and proclaimed he knew about the hypothesis proposed in that article was based on a comment or two made on the tusk! No wonder his insulting comments didn’t seem to connect with reality. All that time all those nonsensical, and non sequitur attacks were never relevant to anything but his own fertile imagination!

    How’s that for academic integrity?

    “Dennis I pasted Paul’s comment on your claimed impact”feature” here at the tusk. I did that once, and I will not have you waste my  time doing it here again and again.”

    Reality Check: No one geologist has the final word on anything; not even Lord Paul. And non of us are required to agree with his mainstream gradualist views without question. And in fact Paul has never posted a link on the meteorite list to a piece of relevant science regarding a place I’ve written about that isn’t already on my blog, and with a commentary regarding what I think of that work.

    In fact, I never write about anyplace without giving links to all of the science I can find that’s been done on that place.

    Anyways, folks can make their own judgment as to whether it’s related to his poor reading comprehension skills, or if Ed’s just too damn lazy to actually read the stuff he puts out there as a reference, but Paul Heinrick’s post on the meteorite list never had anything to do with anything I have ever written about anyplace. In that original post, Paul addressed a post Rich Murray had made on the list about some places in New Mexico I had once told Rich was interested. On the list Rich said he got those places from me. But in fact what Paul said about them still has no relevance whatsoever to anything I myself have ever actually written about them anywhere.

    In fact, in those conversations with Rich Murray all I ever said about them was that I thought they were interesting, and worth taking a closer look.

    “Do not expect me to teach you scaling laws.” 

    I would never expect Ed to teach me anything. If I really wanted to learn something why would I turn to a self taught amateur who’s a self professed expert, but with questionable academic integrity, zero endorsements from any real scientists at all, and no academic credentials whatsoever for instruction?

    Strange that no real scientist who’s actually read my work has ever brought up scaling laws though…

    However, if I ever have need of such learning, I have numerous honest-to-PhD physicists, and scientists at NASA as mentors who’ll be happy to school me if need be.

    "Given your history, your judgment of my former work, is reflective of your complete lack of knowledge of the field”

    Like most in this world Ed has no real clue of my history; only that I have a history here on the Tusk of not believing anything he says, and of not agreeing that he is the all knowing, unquestionable, final word, on all things related to impact science he imagines himself to be. But since I can provide conclusive proof of Ed’s complete lack of academic integrity I find myself unable to believe a single word he says. So why would I be concerned with something he’s written? The only judgment I have for Eds former work is that I’m not buying any of it.

    “Last ear, there were a lot of 2012 end of the world nuts who did not like me very much.”

    I never did buy into the 2012 doomsday thing. But it’s nice to hear I do have at least one thing in common with a lot of other folks.

     You and Morrison can get together with them.

    Indeed, David Morrison at NASA really is a friend of mine, and chief among the prominent world class planetary scientists at NASA who’ve told me that they don’t consider Ed Grondine to be a reliable researcher at all. They all tell me they do their best to simply ignore him.

    I hope to do the whole NASA tour thing on a road trip sometime this next spring. And while I’m at it I will consider myself most richly blessed If I get the opportunity to take my friend to lunch and have a friendly beer with him. But since he’s not very impressed with him either, Ed Grondine probably won’t come up in the conversation.

  83. Jim –

    Back then I googled in “magnetic rotary vortex” and got nothing. Sorry I didn’t get back to you about that.

  84. Ed –

    You obviously have never heard of cometary asteroids.

    Let me know when everyone is on the same wavelength about the dividing line between comets and asteroids, will you?

    [Wiki] “A few objects have ended up being dual-listed because they were first classified as minor planets but later showed evidence of cometary activity. Conversely, some (perhaps all) comets are eventually depleted of their surface volatile ices and become asteroids…

    …Then, when the first trans-Neptunian object, 1992 QB1, was discovered in 1992, and especially when large numbers of similar objects started turning up, new terms were invented to sidestep the issue: Kuiper-belt object, trans-Neptunian object, scattered-disc object, and so on. These inhabit the cold outer reaches of the Solar System where ices remain solid and comet-like bodies are not expected to exhibit much cometary activity; if centaurs or trans-Neptunian objects were to venture close to the Sun, their volatile ices would sublimate, and traditional approaches would classify them as comets and not asteroids.”

    No, I don’t consider Wiki to be authoritative, but for a quick reference it works okay sometimes…

  85. Ed –

    Also let me know when someone actually sees an object in the so-called Oort cloud.

    I am not going to hold my breath.

    From http://www.universetoday.com/32522/oort-cloud/

    …The sphere was named after the astronomer Jan Oort who hypothesized its existence in 1950. Although its existence has not yet been proven through direct observation, the reality of the Oort Cloud is widely accepted in the scientific community.


    The Oort Cloud occupies space at a distance between 5,000 and 100,000 astronomical units. No objects residing within the Oort Cloud have ever been directly observed.


    The Oort cloud /ˈɔrt/[1] (named after the Dutch astronomer Jan Oort), or Öpik–Oort cloud,[2] is a hypothesized spherical cloud of predominantly icy planetesimals that may lie roughly 50,000 AU, or nearly a light-year, from the Sun.[3]…

    …Although no confirmed direct observations of the Oort cloud have been made, astronomers argue that it is the source of all long-period and Halley-type comets entering the inner Solar System and many of the centaurs and Jupiter-family comets as well.[5]…

    …Oort noted that the number of returning comets was far less than his model predicted, and this issue, known as “cometary fading”, has yet to be resolved. No known dynamical process can explain this undercount of observed comets. Hypotheses for this discrepancy include the destruction of comets due to tidal stresses, impact or heating; the loss of all volatiles, rendering some comets invisible, or the formation of a non-volatile crust on the surface.[34]

    So, it is hypothesized, not “a demonstrated fact”.

    Oort and subsequent researchers can’t explain a basic observation, that the number of comets is so far below what his theory calls for. I’d say that is a FAIL.

    They haven’t yet – SINCE 1950! – seen one yet, out there in the Oort cloud.

    So don’t be pulling no “demonstrated fact” game on me.

  86. “Widely accepted” is not “demonstrated fact.”

    Epicycles were widely accepted, as was the ether and “the vapors.”

    We all know where those got us.

  87. Dennis “At the time, and without ever having read the article of mine that was at heart of that thread at the time, Ed assumed that he knew exactly what was said in it.”

    Ed has a non-negotiable opinion on Velikovsky, too. Ask him how much of Velikovsky he has read. The answer will be “Zero.” He will defend that because he knows other people who have read Velikovsky.

    Uhhhh. . . NO, Ed it doesn’t work that way. If you don’t know what someone said or wrote, it is time to clam up.

    Your hatred of Dennis has you spitting out the side of your mouth every time you comment about him, and it doesn’t win you any converts. If you don’t want to read what Dennis says, fine. But not reading it makes you an invalid observer: Your opinion doesn’t count.

  88. Re: Morrison

    Understating the impact hazard 100 fold to the Congress in sworn testimony is understandable.
    Not correcting that testimony is reprehensible.

    Further, since the Astrobiology Institute competes for federal research dollars with impact research, that fact in and of itself clearly constitutes enough of a potential conflict of interest to preclude Morrison refereeing any impact related paper for any publication.

  89. Really Ed? You’re gonna go there?

    That was a single speculative comment about a purely hypothetical event that came up in a comment thread more than four years ago. It was never a part of anything I have ever written in an article anywhere.

    That you would resurrect a single four year old speculative comment as a basis for a new argument after so long saying that I “Keep insisting on a kill zone”, (in fact it never came up again except when Ed brought it up) and without ever really reading a single word of anything I really had written is absurdity bordering on insanity.

    But it speaks volumes about the academic integrity of Ed Grondine.

  90. Ed –

    It is not your life task to teach anybody anything. That didn’t stop me from asking you to please be specific and clear and NON vague when you comment here obscurely.

    It IS our right to ask WTF you are talking about when you are vague.

    And you just about never have answered simple questions asking for clarity. If YOU bring something up vaguely, we have the right to inquire.

    And, Ed, you are no more an expert on impacts than anyone else here. You are a reporter and a book author, not a scientist. Like I said, a 7th grader can fill values in a scaling formula.

  91. Steve; I found more vortex info. Google or bing or internet explorer and type in nelson vortex and there is a detailed explaination of the mechanics of a magnectic vortex. Maybe that can help you out. On another vein, You and I discussed the possiblities of multiple impacts on the Laurrentian Ice Sheet. You stated that multiple hits would string out like Levy- Schumacher did on Jupiter and not cluster in a more localized area. What if the impactor did an airburst closer to the earths surface and some of the impactite was able to strike in a closer surface area AKA shotgun blast. One makes the main strike through the ice and the rest just turn the ice to slush and blow it all over the place. Again I site the Odessea Texas and east central New Mexico fields.

  92. Jim –

    My ‘stringing out” thing was that, based on SL-9 fragments impacted over several days and all were on very much the same latitude, I think we can assume that is likely on Earth, too. SL-9 impacts were spread over several days, and were still the same latitude (about 45° south on Jupiter).

    So, I conjecture that if the Michigan impact was multiple fragments, then the impacts would all be at latitude 43°N, but spread out over at least a few hours. Since each hour is 15° of longitude, each hour at latitude 43°N represents about 1525 km. Each MINUTE represents ~25 kms.

    If, like SL-9, the hypothetical multiple Michigan impacts were hours apart, then we are looking at craters around the Earth at latitude 43°N and several thousand kms apart.

    Yeah, the very low altitude airburst/shotgun thing is possible, but not likely. I’d considered that, too, for Michigan, but it just seemed so unlikely that I can’t offer it up myself. Boslough’s fancy cartoon had to do with an airburst just above impact. Airbursts have to do with so many factors – density, angle of descent (including length of time in the atmosphere), size, possible major fractures – that it is all a guessing game on getting one to burst just before impact.

    IMHO, the variables make it so that when two people are talking about an object, they might be talking about two different things and not even know they aren’t talking about the same animal.

    The Chelyabinsk object came in at 15 meters (50 feet) and what was left was only about 2 feet across. Note that it did not “explode” in the normal way; it violently disintegrated over Korkino, but there was still a main body remaining (weighing about 640 kilos when found). It just threw off stuff sloughed off/ablated) much of (or most of) the material that was left at that point. It’s velocity was still so high that the material was luminous as it broke off ans spread out. The breakup was like a high-speed racing boat disintegrating when it crashes. As I see it, the flare-up was because the area of the visible material grew larger as it disintegrated. It had lost most of its material already by that time.

    When they talk about a 500 kt explosion, I still do not know if they are talking about what it would have been if it had ‘exploded’ at its original size or not. Not one of the things I’ve read so far make it clear. I think they are talking about it as if it had been full-sized as it disintegrated over Korkino. The effects were all shock wave, and even then all the damage was done to very brittle and susceptible things – windows, overhead doors, that one poorly constructed roof. You’d be amazed at how little impact force it takes to blow it in, when applied to a large area like a garage door. Or window frames. Many window frames were blown in, with some of the panes still intact. That indicates very weak window attachment was the norm; the grout gave way before all the window panes broke. That is really poor construction, IMHO.

    When I look at 1 psi blast effects of nukes the ranges, for a 500 kt bomb, are considerably short of the distnace from Korkino to Chelyabinsk, so how did they arrive at the blast size? On one calculator online it took 35 megatons for 1 psi to reach much of Chelyabinsk. And that was independent of the height, which I wasn’t able to input. On another it took about 15 megatons. Again, no height input allowed. The higher it explodes, the less the effect is, just due to thinness of the air. Add in the direct line triangulation and it needs even MORE to break windows in Chelyabinsk. Either the calculators are wrong or the current research is wrong (or I am).

  93. Oops. That 1 psi blast force I mentioned is the amount of (nuclear) blast pressure for “Slight damage,” meaning broken windows and some injuries, from flying glass mostly. Just exactly what we saw at Chelyabinsk and neighboring towns.

  94. Steve,

    Given your knowledge of impact, everything is “vague” to you.

    That includes the mechanics of the Chelyabinsk airburst, which I also do not have time to teach

    I won’t even point you to the experts who worked and are working on it. I will point out to you that they do not come by the comments section of the Tusk. Sure, they will send things to George for posting, but that is it. When you have figured out why that is, let me know.

  95. Ed –

    Vague? Not anything anybody else writes, because they actually answer questions.

    Look back over your comments. You mention stuff without giving any details about place time whatever. And we are expected to read your mind.

    And your HSIE thing that only you have defined for yourself and expect everyone else to cow tow to.

    PLEASE: Show us ONE other person who uses that term.

    As if you KNOW anything about Chelyabinsk.

    And NO ONE HAS EVER EVER asked you to name your mysterious experts. Haven’t you noticed? We figured when you stopped being a dick you might actually mention a name. And how many REAL names won’t talk to you anymore, because they consider you a gadfly?

  96. Ed –

    Oh, and BTW, besides Jonny nobody here asserts that they are experts. I’ve never pretended to be one. Unlike you. And Jonny actually responds to requests.

    Pretend experts are a dime a dozen.

    You are no expert, sir. You are a reporter (or used to be, anyway). One that most actual scientists won’t talk to, for along time now. That is a big handicap, isn’t it? You may know the names of those who work on things, but almost none will talk to you. And you yourself don’t know the science, either. You have almost no contacts,, and no audience. Some reporter.

    Where is your byline these days? No stories? No publishers?

    Not even a blog. A reporter with no audience. They are called waiters where I come from. Or dishwashers.

    I was the only friend you had, and even I couldn’t get you to answer questions. Because you thought I was a numb nuts. But I have more of a science background than you will ever have. I’ve actually been PAID to do research. Have you?

    Now, you DID write a helluva a book. And I give you MUCH credit for that, because it has some very good stuff in it. The science part of it was weak and incomplete, but the rest was good.

  97. Steve G,

    The nuclear blast generators assume a Total energy point release.

    Chelyabinsk wasn’t.

    It was a much longer atmospheric impact event, smearing kinetic energy over many orders of magnitude — tens of seconds as opposed to micro-seconds — more time at hyper-velocity.

    Nuclear impact models are garbage-in, garbage-out in terms of calculating either Chelyabinsk or any future Chelyabinsk-like impacts.

  98. Trent –

    I know that I myself have a good sense of how much energy was lost at Chelyabinsk in those long seconds prior to the big burst, and that there wasn’t a whole lot left to explode. There have been only one 640 kg chunk and a bunch of little ones left, out of 10,000 tons. Since matter cannot be destroyed except in producing energy in nuclear events/processes, that would mean that about 99.9% of the meteor was gone, ablated away, by the time of the big burst.

    The angle I was going for on the online calculators was not how big it was, but how SMALL it was. And, yes, obviously the online calculators have to use a simplified equation, and I think I know which one.

    But my point right now is that, if those are anywhere near correct, then 500kt simply doesn’t have enough oomph to break windows in Chelyabinsk 25 km away and 23 km below. And I DO think that those calculators are not off by more than 3-fold or so.

    But how MUCH too low? Well, I had to bump the yield up to 43,000 kilotons in order for the 1 psi range to include the downtown area of Chelyabinsk. The US military uses 1 psi as one of their main thresholds, the one that breaks windows and hurts people by flying glass.

    Needing to increase the yield by 86-fold cannot be just the simple GIGO of the online calculators. Someone somewhere has their numbers seriously wrong.

    In addition, at 23 km high the thinness of the air there does a lot to inhibit the effects of a blast. So, taken together, it would seem that they understated the big Chelyabinsk blast.

    I am just following the numbers and trying to make sense of them, knowing they are ballpark numbers.

  99. Steve,

    You are still hung up on a unidirectional energy foot print from a point event. Just because you got a 1 psi wave front at downtown area of Chelyabinsk. Don’t think that the entire wave front has to be that in every other location.

    Think in terms of explosive shaped charge. In fact, think in terms of _multiple_ explosive shaped charges going off over tens of seconds.

    There were all sorts of wave front additions and shadows in a general direction and downtown area of Chelyabinsk happened to be a strong additive shockwave area.

    IFAIK, there are no such nuclear level explosive yield models for such interactions anywhere.

  100. “One that most actual scientists won’t talk to, for along time now.”


    “You may know the names of those who work on things, but almost none will talk to you.”


    “And you yourself don’t know the science, either.


    “You have almost no contacts, and no audience.”


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