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Great beasts peppered from space
BBC News ^ | 12-11-07

Posted on 12/12/2007 9:55:00 AM PST by Renfield

Startling evidence has been found which shows mammoth and other great beasts from the last ice age were blasted with material that came from space.

Eight tusks dating to some 35,000 years ago all show signs of having being peppered with meteorite fragments.

The ancient remains come from Alaska, but researchers also have a Siberian bison skull with the same pockmarks.

The scientists released details of the discovery at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, US.

They painted a picture of a calamitous event over North America that may have severely knocked back the populations of some species.

Blast direction

"We think that there was probably an impact which exploded in the air that sent these particles flying into the animals," said Richard Firestone from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

"In the case of the bison, we know that it survived the impact because there's new bone growth around these marks."

And geoscience consultant Allen West added: "If the particles had gone through the skin, they may not have made it through to vital organs; but this material could certainly have blinded the animals and severely injured them."

The mammoth and bison remains all display small (about 2-3mm in size) perforations.

Raised, burnt surface rings trace the point of entry of high-velocity projectiles; and the punctures are on only one side, consistent with a blast coming from a single direction.

Viewed under an electron microscope, the embedded fragments appear to have exploded inside the tusk and bone, say the researchers. Shards have cut little channels.

The sunken pieces are also magnetic, and tests show them to have a high iron-nickel content, but to be depleted in titanium.

The ratios of different types of atoms in the fragments meant it was most unlikely they had originated on Earth, the team told the AGU meeting.

Magnetic hunt

The discovery follows on from the group's previous research which claimed a more recent space collision - some 13,000 years ago.

The researchers reported the discovery of sediment at more than 20 sites across North America that contained exotic materials: tiny spheres of glass and carbon, ultra-small specks of diamond and amounts of the rare element iridium that were too high to be terrestrial.

The scientists also found a black layer which, they argued, was the charcoal deposited by wildfires that swept the continent after the space object smashed into the Earth's atmosphere.

"We had found evidence of particle impacts in chert, or flint, at a Clovis Indian site in Michigan," Dr Firestone said.

"So, we got the idea that if these impacts were in the chert, then they might likely also have occurred in large surfaces such as tusks; and we decided it was worth a shot to go look for them."

Allen West began the hunt at a mammoth tusk sale in his home state of Arizona.

He immediately found one tusk with the tell-tale pockmarks and asked the trading company if he could look through its entire collection. He sorted literally thousands of items.

"There are many things that can cause spots, such as algae, and there were a few of those; but I was only interested in the ones that were magnetic," he recalled. "It was just a tiny magnet on a string, but very strong. It would swing over and stick firmly to these little dots."

The search turned up a further seven ivory specimens of interest, together with the bison skull.

Further clues

But having gone out and tested the hypothesis of tusk impacts, and having apparently uncovered such items - the team was then astonished to find the animal remains were about 20,000 years older than had been anticipated.

The researchers are now considering a number of possibilities - one that could even tie the older remains to the younger event.

The embedded particles have a high iron-nickel content

The embedded particles have a high iron-nickel content "People who collect these items today in Siberia and Alaska frequently find the tusks sticking out of the permafrost or eroding out of a riverbank," explained Mr West.

"Maybe, these were tusks from dead animals that were just exposed on the surface, so when this thing blew up in the atmosphere, it would have peppered them. The date could really be anywhere from 13,000 to 35-40,000 years ago."

The team believes there must still be peppered tusks out there that can be dated to 13,000 years ago, and the hope is that the AGU presentation will prompt museums and collectors to look through their archives.

"There should also be a layer of this same meteoritic material in the sedimentary record. It's probably very thin. If we can locate the right place and it hasn't been turbated, we should be able to find this layer; and it shouldn't be too different from the impact layer we found for the 13,000-year event," said Dr Firestone.

Neither proposed impact can yet be tied definitively to any craters - if there ever were any. The team also needs to explain how the bison and mammoth remains can show similar damage when they were widely separated geographically.

Past puzzle

The intriguing question is how space impacts might fit into the extinction story of the ice age beasts. The mammoth, their elephant cousins the mastodon, sabre-toothed tigers, some bears, and many other creatures all disappeared rapidly from the palaeo-record about 10,000 years ago.

Their loss has traditionally been put down to either climate change and/or the efficient hunting technologies adopted by migrating humans.

Could impacts have also weakened these populations?

It might be just one more element to factor into what is a really complex picture, commented Dr Ian Barnes from Royal Holloway University of London, UK.

The British researcher studies the DNA of ancient animals to try to glean details of how their populations changed over time.

He said there were some interesting markers in the genetics of different creatures some 30,000 to 45,000 years ago - but it was extremely hard to draw firm conclusions.

"For us the difficulty is that we see patterns but we don't understand what the underlying process is; so it becomes difficult to ascribe causation," he explained.

"Just as in a modern crime scene, it's very difficult to piece all the evidence together and say precisely what was going on; which event led to any particular outcome."

But he added: "Certainly, you can't imagine it helped the animals having a large meteorite hit the Earth's atmosphere and pellet them with shot."


TOPICS: History; Outdoors
KEYWORDS: catastrophism; clovis; clovisimpact; extinction; impact; paleontology; pleistocene

1 posted on 12/12/2007 9:55:01 AM PST by Renfield
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To: blam; SunkenCiv

Pleistocene/Holocene extinction ping. This is a really interesting article.


2 posted on 12/12/2007 9:55:39 AM PST by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: All

Note the date of 35,000 years before present. This isn’t the same time as the great extinction of the P/H boundary, but it demonstrates that what is possible.


3 posted on 12/12/2007 9:57:38 AM PST by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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4 posted on 12/12/2007 10:04:07 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Monday, December 10, 2007____________________https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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Great beasts peppered from space

"They're not done yet, let them cook a little longer" Placemarker

5 posted on 12/12/2007 10:04:59 AM PST by ahayes ("Impenetrability! That's what I say!")
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To: lepton; Fred Nerks

thanks also to lepton and Fred Nerks:

Amazing find of dinosaur ‘mummy’
BBC Science-Nature | December 3, 2207 | U/A
Posted on 12/11/2007 9:25:53 PM EST by Fred Nerks
29 posted on 12/11/2007 11:45:21 PM EST by lepton http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1938195/posts?page=29#29


6 posted on 12/12/2007 10:05:33 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Monday, December 10, 2007____________________https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes: Flood, Fire, and Famine in the History of Civilization The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes:
Flood, Fire, and Famine
in the History of Civilization

by Richard Firestone,
Allen West, and
Simon Warwick-Smith


7 posted on 12/12/2007 10:05:55 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Monday, December 10, 2007____________________https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Renfield; 75thOVI; AFPhys; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; BenLurkin; ..
Thanks Renfield! An update topic (see the list above for more), which saves me the effort of posting it, as I was going to do. :'D Thanks again!
 
Catastrophism
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic ·

8 posted on 12/12/2007 10:07:10 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Monday, December 10, 2007____________________https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Renfield

Most intriguing.


9 posted on 12/12/2007 10:08:00 AM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Renfield
Oh, beasts.
10 posted on 12/12/2007 10:09:24 AM PST by NonValueAdded (Fred Dalton Thompson for President)
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To: Renfield
Note the date of 35,000 years before present. This isn’t the same time as the great extinction of the P/H boundary, but it demonstrates that what is possible.

As a non-professional in this field, I have no vested interest in defending or protecting a pet theory. And they are all theories.
What is possible is likely closer to the truth than present dogma. What we don't know is larger, by several orders of magnitude than what is known. I am convinced of that.

Undefined catastrophes have visited the earth in the past and will visit the earth in the future. We may never learn about all or even most of them.

As a human being, instinct in me hopes that the next will not occur before I go to my rewards.
But the curiosity in me hopes, subconsciously, that it would be the experience of a lifetime, and would dwarf all other scares of my life, real and imagined.

11 posted on 12/12/2007 10:14:32 AM PST by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Renfield

Fascinating. Thanks.


12 posted on 12/12/2007 10:16:05 AM PST by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Renfield; SunkenCiv
These embedded particles are covered in detail in the book SunkenCiv has posted in post #7.

"The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes: Flood, Fire, and Famine in the History of Civilization"

13 posted on 12/12/2007 10:40:08 AM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: Renfield

fascinating

bmflr

.

.

.

Why the smart money is on Duncan Hunter
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1926032/posts


14 posted on 12/12/2007 11:06:59 AM PST by Kevmo (We should withdraw from Iraq via Tehran. And Duncan Hunter is just the man to get that job done.)
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To: Renfield; SunkenCiv; Publius6961; Ciexyz
I'll bet Dr. Walt Brown likes this news.

He has a unique explaination for frozen mammoths that could mesh with this find.
(full text online)

15 posted on 12/12/2007 11:24:11 AM PST by skeptoid (U.E., A.A., MBS with Clusters)
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To: Renfield

But wait! The extinction of the mammoths was due to greedy, evil pre-historic humans over-hunting them. Now this?


16 posted on 12/12/2007 11:47:00 AM PST by 43north (I hope we are around long enough to become a layer in the rocks of the future.)
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To: All

Where is MY brain today?

When I first read the caption, I thought it said “Great breasts peppered from space”.


17 posted on 12/12/2007 12:03:15 PM PST by MplsSteve
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To: Publius6961; All

Note the date of 35,00 years before present. Also in the article there was something about 20,000 year earlier.

It is entirely possible there was more than one of these events. Remember the Tungusku (sp?) air burst over Siberia in 1908. There was also a significant air burst over the Amazon mid last century. Also I think more attention needs to be paid to major vulcanism. There have been recent posts about the Toba supervolcano (diameter 18 by 65 miles about 74 thousand years ago) which may have decimated the human population. The modern Japanese volcano Sakara-jima is on the edge of a 15 mile diameter which has been dated as around 22,000 years old. Just look at the mess Pinatubo with a 3 mile diameter crater made. I think the last suspected Neanderthal remains were from around that time. Does anyone have dates and sizes of other major volcanos since Toba?


18 posted on 12/12/2007 5:36:24 PM PST by gleeaikin
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To: Renfield
Great beasts peppered from space

mmmmmmmmm..... Mammoth!
19 posted on 12/12/2007 5:38:59 PM PST by djf (Holly is a noxious weed, Might as well "Deck the halls with Poison Ivy!")
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To: 43north

....”But wait! The extinction of the mammoths was due to greedy, evil pre-historic humans over-hunting them. Now this?”....
Not to worry, I’m sure they will find that the pre-historic humans you refer to had outlawed lead shotgun pellets, and they were using the next best thing.....


20 posted on 12/12/2007 6:43:56 PM PST by whipitgood (Let's burn some MEXICAN flags!)
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To: Renfield
This article sucks! Inconsistencies, contradictions, and confusion abound.

The ONE thing I bring away from this article is that the scientific community should never ever EVER question their own dating methods.

One problem that jumped out at me was the ~35,000 year old tusks MAY have been peppered with fragments ~13,000 years ago. Not likely for the simple reason that once exposed to the air, tusks begin to deteriorate. So what would have HAD to happen is the ~20,000 year old tusks MUST have been exposed ~13,000 years ago, THEN resealed to preserve them for another ~13,000 years. Did I miss something?

21 posted on 12/13/2007 7:06:57 AM PST by ForGod'sSake (ABCNNBCBS: An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.)
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To: blam

Thanks Blam.


22 posted on 12/13/2007 8:15:33 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Monday, December 10, 2007____________________https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: ForGod'sSake; 43north; gleeaikin
ForGod'sSake: One problem that jumped out at me was the ~35,000 year old tusks MAY have been peppered with fragments ~13,000 years ago. Not likely for the simple reason that once exposed to the air, tusks begin to deteriorate. So what would have HAD to happen is the ~20,000 year old tusks MUST have been exposed ~13,000 years ago, THEN resealed to preserve them for another ~13,000 years. Did I miss something?
That doesn't make sense to me either, I think the author of the article punched that up perhaps without realizing the significance (actually lack thereof) of the speculation.
43north: But wait! The extinction of the mammoths was due to greedy, evil pre-historic humans over-hunting them. Now this?
:'D
gleeaikin: Note the date of 35,000 years before present. Also in the article there was something about 20,000 year earlier.
The article speaks of the event 13,000 years ago, and of the earlier event 35,000 years ago (iow, 22,000 years earlier than the more recent one).
gleeaikin: It is entirely possible there was more than one of these events.
The bombardment happened as the (last?) wave of debris arrived from a supernova explosion long before. There were a series of (three? Blam?) different bombardments which arrived at different times (due to velocity differences) from the same supernova explosion. The book concentrates on the Pleistocene mass extinction in the Americas. There were survivors, but they were in small isolated groups which just by chance were not bombarded, so the megafauna were effectively driven to extinction. The earlier events will be further studied, and this is the latest finding they've announced. There will be more.
23 posted on 12/13/2007 8:35:57 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Monday, December 10, 2007____________________https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: gleeaikin
"Does anyone have dates and sizes of other major volcanos since Toba?"

No. But, I like the way you think and my heart would sing if you were to follow up with that data.

24 posted on 12/13/2007 9:46:29 AM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: SunkenCiv
There were a series of (three? Blam?) different bombardments which arrived at different times (due to velocity differences) from the same supernova explosion.

I had gotten the (wrong?)impression from other articles/posts on this subject, that Firestone et.al had moved away from a supernova explanation as a cause of the disturbance in the force. No?

25 posted on 12/13/2007 11:31:51 AM PST by ForGod'sSake (ABCNNBCBS: An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.)
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To: blam; SunkenCiv; All

Other big volcanoes?

I think there were several really big explosions of Vesuvius, including one around 25,000 ya. I did not see a crater diameter for them. The age on Barrington Meteor Crater is about 50,000 years, although it is not nearly as big as the 2 mile diameter crater they seem to have discovered in the Iraq Marshes (thanks, Blam). Still, I wonder what affect it might have had.

You may recall that I told a couple of you that I was accumulating data for writing something on catastrophes throught the ages and their influence on the development of life on earth. Because of the many new pieces of information I have received from you all in the past year, I may start out by focusing on the past 100,000 years and the development of modern man, and aiming it toward younger (teen) readers. I think there is enough for two books.


26 posted on 12/13/2007 5:36:40 PM PST by gleeaikin
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To: zot

Ping.


27 posted on 12/13/2007 5:54:13 PM PST by Interesting Times (ABCNNBCBS -- yesterday's news.)
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To: gleeaikin
Santorini Eruption Much larger Than Originally Believed

"KINGSTON, R.I. – August 23, 2006 – An international team of scientists has found that the second largest volcanic eruption in human history, the massive Bronze Age eruption of Thera in Greece, was much larger and more widespread than previously believed."

Evidence Of Tunguska-Type Impacts Over The Pacific Basin Around The Year 1178 AD

28 posted on 12/13/2007 6:24:58 PM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: Interesting Times

Thanks for the ping. This is a very interesting and important discovery. It leaves no doubt that these specimens contain extraterrestrial fragments.

The authors are trying to tie together the 13KYA and 35KYA evidence, but that is speculation.

The Siberian bison survived the impact; therefore, the date of that skull establishes the date of one impact. The article doesn’t have the date of the Siberian bison skull, but it seems to be one of the 35KYA specimens. If so, there is evidence for two impacts, one at 35KYA and another at 13KYA.


29 posted on 12/13/2007 8:43:27 PM PST by zot
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To: blam

It was the Ents!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2007/12/16/scimammoth11.xml


30 posted on 12/17/2007 2:07:38 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Monday, December 10, 2007____________________https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Renfield

Of course with what I misread your headline as, I was thinking Jessica Simpson had taken up skydiving.


31 posted on 12/17/2007 2:10:25 PM PST by CholeraJoe (Some days it doesn't even make sense to chew through the restraints.)
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Ancient Atomic Warfare - Religious texts and geological evidence
New York Herald Tribune on February 16, 1947 | Ivan T. Sanderson
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http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/720501/posts

Supernova debris found on Earth
News@Nature.com | 02 November 2004 | Mark Peplow
Posted on 11/24/2004 4:22:08 PM EST by Phsstpok
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1287848/posts

Supernova Storm Wiped Out Mammoths?
Discovery News | 09/28/05 | Jennifer Viegas
Posted on 10/05/2005 2:47:27 AM EDT by planetesimal
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1496844/posts

Supernova Storm Wiped Out Mammoths?
Discovery News | Sept. 28, 2005 | Jennifer Viegas
Posted on 10/17/2005 11:57:32 AM EDT by Fzob
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1503957/posts

Scientist: Comets Blasted Early Americans
ap on Yahoo | 10/28/05 | Meg Kinnard - ap
Posted on 10/28/2005 6:33:11 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1511330/posts

Terrestrial Evidence of a Nuclear Catastrophe in Paleoindian Times
Mammoth Trumpet | March 2001 | Firestone/Topping
Posted on 07/24/2006 3:03:03 AM EDT by ForGod’sSake
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Did comet start deadly cold snap?
Canada.com | Monday, May 14, 2007 | Margaret Munro
Posted on 05/16/2007 6:00:33 PM EDT by Mike Darancette
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1834769/posts

Diamonds tell tale of comet that killed off the cavemen
Guardian | 5-20-07 | Robin McKie
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Catastrophic Comet Chilled and Killed Ice Age Beasts (and Clovis people)
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Comet May Have Doomed Mammoths
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Ice Age Ends Smashingly: Did A Comet Blow Up Over Eastern Canada? (More) (Carolina Bays)
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Posted on 08/04/2007 2:29:34 AM EDT by ForGod’sSake
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Posted on 08/15/2007 8:32:04 PM EDT by baynut
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1881784/posts

Research Team Says Extraterrestrial Impact To Blame For Ice Age Extinctions (More)
Eureka Alert | Northern Arizona University - Lisa Nelson
Posted on 09/25/2007 3:58:19 PM EDT by blam
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1902003/posts

Cosmic blast may have killed off megafauna
Scientists say early humans doomed, too
Boston Globe | September 27, 2007 | Colin Nickerson
Posted on 09/25/2007 9:45:11 PM EDT by baynut
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1902154/posts

Cosmic blast may have killed off megafauna
Scientists say early humans doomed, too
Boston Globe | September 25, 2007 | Colin Nickerson
Posted on 09/26/2007 9:11:48 AM EDT by baynut
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1902361/posts

Evidence for an extraterrestrial impact 12,900 years ago
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
October 9, 2007, Vol. 104 | September 27, 2007 | R. B. Firestone, et. al.
Posted on 09/30/2007 1:14:28 PM EDT by baynut
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1904474/posts

The End of Eden: The Comet That Changed Civilization
amazon | Oct. 8, 2007
Posted on 10/09/2007 2:47:23 AM EDT by doug from upland
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1908525/posts

Great beasts peppered from space
BBC News | 12-11-07
Posted on 12/12/2007 9:55:00 AM PST by Renfield
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1938461/posts

Did Comets Cause Ancient American Extinctions?
National Geographic News | 5-6-2008 | Anne Casselman
Posted on 05/07/2008 6:40:10 PM PDT by blam
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2012792/posts

Al Goodyear And The Secrets Of Ancient Americans
Free Times | 5-14/20-2008 | Ron Aiken
Posted on 05/15/2008 3:25:21 PM PDT by blam
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2016537/posts

Life Survived Catastrophic Space Rock Impact [Chesapeake Bay area]
Space.com | June 26, 2008 | Jeanna Bryner
Posted on 06/26/2008 8:04:37 PM PDT by ETL
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2037094/posts

First Humans To Settle Americas Came From Europe, Not From Asia....
Science Daily | 7-1-08
Posted on 07/03/2008 4:55:14 AM PDT by Renfield
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2040167/posts

Exploding Asteroid Theory Strengthened By New Evidence Located In Ohio, Indiana
Physorg | 7-1-2008 | University of Cincinnati
Posted on 07/02/2008 3:27:51 PM PDT by blam
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2039949/posts

Diamonds Rained Down During Ice Age
Live Science | JUL 7, 2008 | Ker Than
Posted on 07/07/2008 2:05:25 PM PDT by decimon
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2042031/posts

Diamonds Rained Down During Ice Age ($$$)
LiveScience.com | July 7, 2008 | Ker Than
Posted on 07/08/2008 9:50:22 PM PDT by max americana
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2042770/posts

Tracking down abrupt climate changes
(Rapid natural climate change 12,700 years ago)
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres | Aug 1, 2008 | Unknown
Posted on 08/01/2008 11:03:47 AM PDT by decimon
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2054995/posts

Kankakee Sand Islands:

Research Casts New Light On History Of North America
Newswise | 7-1-2008 | Valparaiso University
Posted on 07/01/2008 10:26:26 AM PDT by blam
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2039278/posts

First Humans To Settle Americas Came From Europe, Not From Asia Over Bering Strait -
ScienceDaily | July 17, 2008
Posted on 07/16/2008 8:02:06 PM PDT by Free ThinkerNY
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2046692/posts


32 posted on 08/05/2008 10:51:30 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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