Mark Boslough Profile picture
Physicist, airburst specialist, planetary defender, CSI Fellow. I oppose science politicization & support science-informed policy. I mute trolls.
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Mar 28 17 tweets 6 min read
Today I'm going to talk about Example #8 in Allen West's formal "Explanation of Changes in Corrected Paper" (the controversial Bunch et al Sodom & Gomorrah was a comet airburst paper). The beginning of the discussion is here: Here's the link to West's "Explanation" which invokes the word "cosmetic" 12 times. Perhaps the Comet Research Group needs to change the name of its blog to "Cosmetic Tusk" since it seems to focus on cosmetic appearances at the expense of science.
Mar 28 13 tweets 6 min read
I'm starting a new thread to discuss the Comet Research Group's explanation of their corrections to the Bunch et al (2021) Sodom & Gomorrah airburst paper, which used inappropriately modified (photoshopped) field photos. The first thread starts here: "Example #3. The annotated Figure 44c of the skeleton (left panel below) was provided by official photographers of the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project (TeHEP). It is listed below as the 'uncropped original,' because an unannotated original is not available."
Mar 27 13 tweets 5 min read
The Comet Research Group has just released, through its Cosmic Tusk blog, an extended explanation for the manipulated images in the Bunch et al (2021) Sodom paper. I would like to give all my science friends a chance to analyze & comment on it here. cosmictusk.com/wp-content/upl… According to the CRG's blogger & spokesman, "In an opaque request, elements of the mob petitioned Science Reports, claiming the photographs in the publication were fraudulent. The impact scientists immediately responded to the nuisance claim carefully and appropriately."
Feb 17 20 tweets 7 min read
This weekend marks 5 months since publication of a deeply flawed paper claiming that the biblical city of Sodom was destroyed by a Tunguska sized airburst. It's under consideration for retraction due to inappropriate image tampering. Here's a chronology.
nature.com/articles/s4159… Sept. 20, 2021:
Bunch et al (2021) was published by @SciReports. It was immediately met by harsh criticism from archaeologists, airburst experts, radiocarbon dating experts & other scientists.


Oct 30, 2021 13 tweets 6 min read
Whenever I look at Bunch et al #Sodom #airburst paper I find more problems. I already documented the authors’ profound misunderstanding of airbursts (see link). Now I see that they get much of their information about #Tunguska from creationist literature. In their subsection entitled “Comparison to Tunguska cosmic airburst” they make several false assertions. In re-reading it today, another claim jumped out at me: “The airburst generated a pressure wave that toppled or snapped >80 million trees, some up to 1-m in diameter..” Image
Oct 7, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Here's an aerial photograph of the trees there were blown over by the Tunguska blast. It was taken about 30 years after the 1908 event & was used with other data by Giuseppe Longo to create a map of direction of fallen trees. You can see there is some variation in alignment. Image In a strong blast wave, there is turbulence & chaotic flow. Terrain influences the direction & intensity too. Not everything that blows down is parallel. It looks to my eye as if, even in this small area, the tree alignment varies by up to 10°. Image
Oct 6, 2021 6 tweets 3 min read
#TEHburst Fig. 4c from Bunch et al (2021) Sodom & Gomorrah paper. The parts of the caption relevant to 4c read, “Sedimentary profiles (c) the ring road in Field LA.. Inside the city, the arrows mark the location of the charcoal-and-ash-rich dark layer." Image The paper was released on Sept. 20. On Sept. 30, image forensics expert Elisabeth Bik had identified repetitive elements in this image, which is an indicator of possible data tampering by using photoshop to hide features. pubpeer.com/publications/3…
Oct 4, 2021 20 tweets 11 min read
Independent scientists have identified many problems with the controversial Sodom & Gomorrah paper #TEHburst by Bunch et al (2021), not least of which is the digital image tampering now called #pebblegate, which the Comet Research Group (CRG) has partially acknowledged. ImageImage Other problems: 1) Samples may have been collected by inexperienced amateur volunteers, 2) Sponsoring orgs explicitly reject the scientific method, 3) Contamination problems have been identified in the group’s laboratory, and 4) Ongoing lack of transparency plagues the CRG. Image
Sep 25, 2021 4 tweets 3 min read
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. 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.
Sep 25, 2021 24 tweets 10 min read
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. imdb.com/name/nm2334005/ 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. imdb.com/title/tt132453…
Sep 25, 2021 17 tweets 10 min read
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.
Sep 24, 2021 18 tweets 8 min read
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.
Sep 24, 2021 36 tweets 15 min read
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
Sep 24, 2021 14 tweets 4 min read
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.
Sep 23, 2021 20 tweets 9 min read
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.
Sep 22, 2021 41 tweets 13 min read
As I promised yesterday, I’m going to start addressing the specific scientific claims of the #BiblicalArchaeology paper on #TallElHammam, just published in Scientific Reports @SciReports which I will tag #TEHburst from now on. (Art credit: Don Davis) Image There are supposedly 17 lines of evidence. Given that I have a day job, I’d be lucky to finish by mid-October even if I debunked one every day. But this is as much about entertainment as it is about enlightenment so I expect some diversions & do-loops.
Sep 22, 2021 24 tweets 6 min read
This will be my final thread of the day on the controversial #BiblicalArchaeology paper published yesterday by @SciReports (Scientific Reports). Here's a link to my previous thread:
It’s hard to know where to start in a critique of a paper so full of data & claims. Kyle Hill @Sci_Phile says “I have yet to see anyone actually refute the 17 different lines of evidence that seem to at least point in the air burst direction.”
Sep 21, 2021 30 tweets 7 min read
Yesterday I posted a “hot take” on a new #BiblicalAchaeology paper claiming that #TallElHammam in the Jordan Valley is Biblical Sodom & was wiped out when a small comet or asteroid exploded over the city. This thread is to provide more background before I critique the content. First, a correction. I said it was in Nature. It was in Scientific Reports. I learned about it from a colleague who wrote,“I suspect you've seen the recent Nature paper about the airburst in the Jordan Valley. I wonder if we could talk about it?” I failed due diligence.
Sep 20, 2021 23 tweets 7 min read
The prestigious international journal @Nature has expanded its scope beyond science and is now publishing papers in the field of Biblical archaeology. A paper published today asks the question "Did God smite the sinners of Sodom with an #asteroid?" nature.com/articles/s4159… I just skimmed through the paper and see that my model of asteroid airbursts is cited as the mechanism by which God smote this evil city. Here's a screenshot of the paper's Figure 53, which shows a cross-section of a fire-and-brimstone event I simulated. Image
Sep 18, 2020 8 tweets 2 min read
Here's today's "worst-week" graph showing each state's highest 7-day per capita increase in confirmed case count since Memorial Day, color coded by the policy that led to that growth rate (one month prior to the end of the highest growth week). Since yesterday, red-state West Virginia has leapfrogged blue-state Washington because it had a higher rate for the 7-day period ending today than Washington had during its worst week. WV moved to the right & WA was displaced to the left, continuing the self-sorting process.
Sep 1, 2020 7 tweets 5 min read
@GovMLG @NMDOH September begins with a remarkable tale of two states. One state (New Mexico) has strong leadership and a science-guided, risk-conservative heath policy. The other state (South Dakota) has laissez faire leadership, a science-denying governor, & health policy that neglects risk. @GovMLG @NMDOH Which state is doing better? Four weeks ago today, South Dakota was still doing relatively well despite the hands-off approach to regulation of meat packing plants that had been the primary source of COVID-19 outbreak in the state.