As I continue my quest to find the paper “Kletetschka, G., Radana, K. & Hakan, U. Evidence of shock-generated plasma’s demagnetization in the shock-exposed rocks. Sci. Rep. (2021)” that was cited by #TEHbust, the #TallElHammam #BiblicalArchaeology paper, I'll discuss #Tunguska. Image
The Sodom & Gomorrah airburst team cited this in support of their claim that a Tunguska-like airburst can generate shocked quartz, even though—according to experts on shocked quartz—none has ever been found that is associated with #Tunguska. Shocked quartz looks like this. Image
I met the lead author, Gunther Kletetschka, in Russia in 2008 and we enjoyed time together doing field work in the destruction zone of the 1908 #Tunguska airburst. It was for a Discovery Channel documentary shoot on June 30, 2008: the 100th anniversary of #AsteroidDay Image
We found the remains of some trees that had been uprooted by the blast wave exactly 100 years earlier. Most of the other evidence had disappeared, either through salvage logging or burning. Image
We slogged through swampy blast zone, looking for trees to core. Gunther was interested in finding trees that survived the event so he could core them and take the cores back to his lab for magnetometer measurements. The trees had to be more than 100 years old, of course. Image
Gunther taught both me and his son, Karel, how to core trees. We found many there were older than 100 years and had experienced the blast. It occurred to me that the surviving forest still contains information about the direction of the blast and thermal radiation. Image
This is one of the many cores that Gunther took back to his lab. I’m not sure if these time stamps are local time or my home time. It doesn’t get dark at that latitude near the summer solstice. Image
Karel also got a lesson from our guide on how to shoot a bear gun. Image
Not a bullseye, but a solid first shot! I feel like doing this to some of my papers too. Image
Gunther and I had also found an epicenter, where the blast wave came straight down from above. With no lateral winds, the branches were stripped off but the trunks remained standing. Kulick called these “telegraph poles.” Some were still there. Image
Gunther also cored some trees right there in Kulick’s base camp. The scar on the tree was roughly facing the epicenter. Our initial idea was that it was a burn scar, like the one Georgy Grechko had talked about in Moscow. We found other trees in base camp like that Image
Having good tree rings in a living tree allows very accurate dating of the core so we can know exactly which ring is associated with the 1908 blast just by counting backwards. Image
The Discovery Channel documentary crew filmed Guther coring another nearby tree. It appeared to have a burn scar that was oriented toward the explosion's epecenter. Image
When I got home I found old photos in the Tomsk archive. These scars are anthropogenic. It's easy to get tricked & think something is natural when it’s not. The inexperienced & untrained #TEHburst field crew may have fallen into the same trap, but have no photos from 1650 BCE. Image
June 30, 2008 was a big day at Kulik’s camp. Helicopters were everywhere, flying in dignitaries. Remember that the "Tunguska Phenomenon" is a big deal in Russia, and this was the centennial. Image
They dedicated a monument. That’s cosmonaut Georgy Grechko on the right (I’d just met him in Moscow) with a couple of politicians. The sculpture is pretty clearly a nod to Sergei Korolev, the lead Soviet rocket engineer during the space race, who thought it was a UFO. Image
While we were at base camp, the Italians arrived by helicopter after having finished their fieldwork on Lake Cheko, using a submersible camera & sounding equipment to look for evidence of an impact. They had another documentary maker in tow. Discovery Channel’s competition. Image
Romano soon went to the wood pile, where he found pieces of telegraph poles as well as burn-scarred boles. He asked one of the Russians to cut off some cross sections. I brought a piece home, and still have it (somewhere)! Image
Here’s the scene of their arrival on Youtube. The documentary maker ambushed me and put me on the spot. I admit I was a little buzzed. Russian hosts like to keep you that way even when it’s not at a party for the centennial of one of their biggest events.
I only discovered this online years later. It was much lower-budget than the Discovery Channel one that we were in. It’s quirky but it dives much more deeply into the history of Tunguska in Russia. I recommend it to anyone who wants more background.
On our way out, we had a thrilling helicopter ride over Lake Cheko, the storied location of cosmonaut Georgy Grechko's early research, and the Italian's group quest for an impact crater. Image
We landed at Vanavara, & old logging town with the nearest landing strip. It's similar to small remote towns in Alaska & Canada. The bar was in a tent. There was a lot of drinking & singing. ImageImageImageImage
The Italians were already there, downloading data from their logger & looking at images from their submersible camera onto their laptop. Luca thought he was seeing trees at the bottom of the lake. I remained skeptical, but was rooting for him. ImageImage
I'll close this thread with a slideshow of photos I found on the Tomsk archive along with photos from my 2008 trip. Image
Leonid Kulik and me in the same place. Image
Kulik's base camp. Image
Tunguska teepee. Image
Gennady Plekhanov (KSE commander) Image
Kulik's camp Image
This morning, I received this #sodomdebate challenge from Tall El-Hammam Dig Director Steve Collins @TeHEP_TSU. I've already accepted his challenge to a scientific debate, but it has to be right here, right now, on Twitter, while there is still public interest. Image
Between the Dr. Collins and me, we have nearly 4000 followers. Even more can watch. We can't get that big of a venue in Albuquerque & we can't get it that soon. We can both bring in experts to support our scientific positions & refute the other side. This will be fun!
So, @TeHEP_TSU let's do it starting now. You can bring in your heaviest scientific hitters, Ted Bunch, Allen West, & Jim Kennett. I've already debated each of them in public at least once. To start the debate, please let me know if there is anything in this thread that is wrong.
My next question for @TeHEP_TSU is this: can you post a link or send me a copy to “Kletetschka, G., Radana, K. & Hakan, U. Evidence of shock-generated plasma’s demagnetization in the shock-exposed rocks. Sci. Rep. (2021)” It's hard to read a paper without proper citations.
And please, @TeHEP_TSU, you still haven't answered the question I asked this morning, when I accepted your challenge.
I hope everyone enjoyed this thread. For my next topic, I will switch to the Younger Dryas Boundary Strike #YDBS hypothesis. This is the previous controversial (and fully debunked) hypothesis by the Comet Group.

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More from @MarkBoslough

25 Sep
Late-breaking bonus thread about the @SciReports paper on #Sodom & Gomorrah! This hypothesis was featured in a documentary by the History Channel and I've found it online. It includes an animation of Lot's wife turning into a pillar of salt! Here she is before the impact. Image
Here's Lot's wife at the moment of impact. This is based on the just-published #BiblicalArchaeology paper by Bunch et al (2021) on #TallElHammam. Image
And here's Lot's wife as a post-impact pillar of salt. How can anyone dispute the #TEHburst paper now? It's based on peer-reviewed research published in a journal that's overseen by @Nature! Image
Read 4 tweets
25 Sep
I thought it would be a good idea to leave everyone with a list of videos to watch while waiting for my next thread. Some of them are available online, but here's my IMDB page if you want to look for them yourself. I'll post links to the ones I can find.
I had hoped to be able to share a link to Siberian Apocalypse (2008), the Discovery Channel production that I wrote several threads about. Here's the IMDB link to it. Maybe there's a way order or stream it on a subscription service.…
I just found this review of Siberian Apocalypse, which is a pretty good summary.…
Read 23 tweets
25 Sep
My threads on Sodom airburst paper in Nature's
@SciReports have led to feedback & to new Twitter friends. Thanks for your comments! For those who arrived after my first post on Monday, here’s a link to the beginning. #TallElHammam #TEHburst #YDBS
@SciReports The vast majority of comments by archeologists, physicists, geologists, astronomers, & impact experts have been positive. I'm hoping to hear from coauthors of the #TEHburst paper. Maybe none are on twitter or don’t feel the need to answer q's from scientists about their paper.
Several coauthors of the #TEHburst paper list their affiliation as “Comet Research Group”. Check out their website. Of the 21 #TEHburst coauthors, 16 are members of the Comet Research Group.…
Read 17 tweets
24 Sep
I now turn my attention to the Younger Dryas Boundary Strike #YDBS hypothesis. It’s been called the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis #YDIH by many, but that’s a misnomer because Team Comet has never been able to decide if was an impact or an airburst. #TEHburst Image
The #YDBS is relevant to the #TEHburst hypothesis because it was conceived and is led by the same team of researchers using the same methods and making the same mistakes. The best segue from my last thread is to discuss a paper by my friend, Gunther Kletetschka.
#YDBS posits that the N American megabeasts of the last ice were abruptly wiped out by an asteroid, comet, swarm of asteroids, or swarm of comets (impacts or airbursts) about 12,800 years ago. It also put an end to the Clovis Culture. It has been thoroughly & repeatedly debunked.
Read 18 tweets
24 Sep
My next thread will be about my field experience at Tunguska. Three of us (Gunther Kletetschka, Jason Morgan, and me) were all there for a Discovery Channel documentary shoot. We all had different ideas about the cause of the Tunguska Phenomenon, as the Russians call it. Image
But first I want to say more about Gunther’s role in the #TallElHammam paper in @SciReports (#TEHburst). He is one of 7 coauthors who, according to the author contributions note, performed fieldwork. In my opinion, he was the only one of the 7 who was qualified for that job.
The paper also cited Gunther's other work. Most notably to me was a statement, page 27, in the context of shocked quartz. It claims that Gunther was able to explain how an airburst can generate the shock lamellae, which are among the diagnostic signatures of shocked quartz. Image
Read 14 tweets
23 Sep
The title of the paper I’m critiquing is "A Tunguska sized airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea." I’m tagging it #TEHburst to help keep track of these threads. To understand the paper, we need talk about #Tunguska.
At this juncture I would like to invite any of my colleagues who are experts in any of the fields I’m talking about to jump in with comments. If I make more mistakes, get something wrong, or forget a detail that you know, please correct me.
I attended the "100 years of the Tunguska phenomenon: past, present, future” conference in Moscow on June, 2008. I learned a lot of science, but I also learned a lot of backstory about the history of the “Tunguska phenomenon,” which is what the Russians call it.
Read 20 tweets

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