Ordovician dating

The age of the Ordovician boundaries were determined using potassium-argon and uranimum radiometric dating. Graptolites, extinct planktonic organisms, are most often used to correlate Ordovician strata. The boundary between the Cambrian and the Ordovician is marked by the appearance of planktic dictyonemid graptolites. Ordovician dating. The Ordovician period started at a minor extinction event some time about 488.3 million years ago (mya) and lasted for about 44.6 million years. It ended with a major extinction event about 443.7 mya (ICS, 2004) that wiped out 60% of marine genera. A. Ordovician-Silurian extinction event- occurred at the end of the period approximately 443 million years ago. 60% of marine genera went extinct. The cause of the extinction was predicted to be a gamma-ray burst. Cambrian-Ordovician extinction event- occurred at the start of the period 485 million years ago. Dating The identification of elevated concentrations of L-chondritic materials in middle Ordovician marine limestone worldwide provides an alternative for a more precise dating of the LCPB breakup (Schmitz et al., 2001, 2003; Lindskog et al., 2012; Schmitz, 2013; Schmitz et al., 2019a). Korochantseva et al. “L-chondrite asteroid breakup tied to Ordovician meteorite shower by multiple isochron 40Ar-39Ar dating” Meteoritics & Planetary Science 42, 1, pp. 3-150, Jan. 2007. 4. Vastag, Brian (18 February 2013). Several Ordovician K-bentonites occurring widely in eastern North America and western Europe were dated using the 40 Ar/ 39 Ar technique to test previously suggested inter-continental correlations. The three thickest and most widespread bentonites – Deicke, Millbrig (North America) and Kinnekulle (Sweden and Denmark) – were examined. Ordovician dating. The Ordovician period started at a minor extinction event some time about 488.3 ± 1.7 million years ago and lasted for about 44.6 million years.It ended with a major extinction event about 443.7 ± 1.5 Ma (ICS, 2004) that wiped out 60% of marine genera.A. [edit] Ordovician dating. The Ordovician period started at a major extinction event called the Cambrian-Ordovician extinction events some time about 488.3 ± 1.7 million years ago (Ma) and lasted for about 44.6 million years. It ended with a major extinction event about 443.7 ± 1.5 Ma (ICS, 2004) that wiped out 60% of marine genera. A. The seven new isotopic dates significantly increase the precision of dating for the Early Ordovician, where previously only two ages with limited or imprecise biostratigraphic control were known ... The Ordovician is the second of six of the Paleozoic Era, and covers the time between 485.4 and 443.8 million years ago. It follows the Cambrian Period and is followed by the Silurian Period. The Ordovician was named by Lapworth after the Celtic tribe of the Ordovices.

Wikipedia page about birds (also see: government drones) part 1

2020.06.29 06:52 annchen128 Wikipedia page about birds (also see: government drones) part 1

Bird

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to navigationJump to searchFor other uses, see Bird (disambiguation)) and Birds (disambiguation))."Aves" and "Avifauna" redirect here. For other uses, see Aves (disambiguation)) and Avifauna (disambiguation)).Birds Temporal range: Early Cretaceous (Aptian) – Present,[1] 121–0 Mya PreЄЄOSDCPTJKPgN📷📷Scientific classification)📷Kingdom:AnimaliaPhylum:ChordataClade:SauropsidaClade:AvemetatarsaliaClade:OrnithuraeClass:Aves Linnaeus, 1758[2]Extant orders) and temporal rangeshowSee ordersSynonyms)
Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class) Aves, characterized by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a strong yet lightweight skeleton. Birds live worldwide and range in size from the 5 cm (2 in) bee hummingbird to the 2.75 m (9 ft) ostrich. There are about ten thousand living species, more than half of which are passerine, or "perching" birds. Birds have wings whose development varies according to species; the only known groups without wings are the extinct moa and elephant birds. Wings, which evolved from forelimbs, gave birds the ability to fly, although further evolution has led to the loss of flight in some birds, including ratites, penguins, and diverse endemic island species. The digestive and respiratory systems of birds are also uniquely adapted for flight. Some bird species of aquatic environments, particularly seabirds and some waterbirds, have further evolved for swimming.
Birds are a group of feathered theropod dinosaurs, and constitute the only living dinosaurs. Likewise, birds are considered reptiles in the modern cladistic sense of the term, and their closest living relatives are the crocodilians. Birds are descendants of the primitive avialans (whose members include Archaeopteryx) which first appeared about 160 million years ago (mya) in China. According to DNA evidence, modern birds (Neornithes) evolved in the Middle to Late Cretaceous, and diversified dramatically around the time of the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 66 mya, which killed off the pterosaurs and all non-avian dinosaurs.
Many social species pass on knowledge across generations, which is considered a form of culture. Birds are social, communicating with visual signals, calls, and songs, and participating in such behaviours as cooperative breeding and hunting, flocking), and mobbing) of predators. The vast majority of bird species are socially (but not necessarily sexually) monogamous, usually for one breeding season at a time, sometimes for years, but rarely for life. Other species have breeding systems that are polygynous (one male with many females) or, rarely, polyandrous (one female with many males). Birds produce offspring by laying eggs which are fertilised through sexual reproduction. They are usually laid in a nest and incubated by the parents. Most birds have an extended period of parental care after hatching.
Many species of birds are economically important as food for human consumption and raw material in manufacturing, with domesticated and undomesticated) birds being important sources of eggs, meat, and feathers. Songbirds, parrots, and other species are popular as pets. Guano (bird excrement) is harvested for use as a fertiliser. Birds figure throughout human culture. About 120 to 130 species have become extinct due to human activity since the 17th century, and hundreds more before then. Human activity threatens about 1,200 bird species with extinction, though efforts are underway to protect them. Recreational birdwatching is an important part of the ecotourism industry.

Contents

Evolution and classification

Main article: Evolution of birds📷Archaeopteryx lithographica is often considered the oldest known true bird.
The first classification of birds was developed by Francis Willughby and John Ray in their 1676 volume Ornithologiae.[3] Carl Linnaeus modified that work in 1758 to devise the taxonomic classification system currently in use.[4] Birds are categorised as the biological class) Aves in Linnaean taxonomy. Phylogenetic taxonomy places Aves in the dinosaur clade Theropoda.[5]

Definition

Aves and a sister group, the order Crocodilia, contain the only living representatives of the reptile clade Archosauria. During the late 1990s, Aves was most commonly defined phylogenetically as all descendants of the most recent common ancestor of modern birds and Archaeopteryx lithographica.[6] However, an earlier definition proposed by Jacques Gauthier gained wide currency in the 21st century, and is used by many scientists including adherents of the Phylocode system. Gauthier defined Aves to include only the crown group of the set of modern birds. This was done by excluding most groups known only from fossils, and assigning them, instead, to the broader group Avialae,[7] in part to avoid the uncertainties about the placement of Archaeopteryx in relation to animals traditionally thought of as theropod dinosaurs.
Gauthier and de Queiroz[8] identified four different definitions for the same biological name "Aves", which is a problem. The authors proposed to reserve the term Aves only for the crown group consisting of the last common ancestor of all living birds and all of its descendants, which corresponds to meaning number 4 below. He assigned other names to the other groups.
Crocodiles

Birds

Turtles

Lizards (including snakes)
The birds' phylogenetic relationships to major living reptile groups.
  1. Aves can mean all archosaurs closer to birds than to crocodiles (alternately Avemetatarsalia)
  2. Aves can mean those advanced archosaurs with feathers (alternately Avifilopluma)
  3. Aves can mean those feathered dinosaurs that fly (alternately Avialae)
  4. Aves can mean the last common ancestor of all the currently living birds and all of its descendants (a "crown group", in this sense synonymous with Neornithes)
Under the fourth definition Archaeopteryx, traditionally considered one of the earliest members of Aves, is removed from this group, becoming a non-avian dinosaur instead. These proposals have been adopted by many researchers in the field of palaeontology and bird evolution, though the exact definitions applied have been inconsistent. Avialae, initially proposed to replace the traditional fossil content of Aves, is often used synonymously with the vernacular term "bird" by these researchers.[9]
Maniraptoromorpha
Coelurus
Ornitholestes
Maniraptoriformes
Ornithomimosauria
Maniraptora
Alvarezsauridae
Pennaraptora
Oviraptorosauria

Paraves
Cladogram showing the results of a phylogenetic study by Cau, 2018.[10]
Most researchers define Avialae as branch-based clade, though definitions vary. Many authors have used a definition similar to "all theropods closer to birds than to Deinonychus",[11][12] with Troodon being sometimes added as a second external specifier in case it is closer to birds than to Deinonychus.[13] Avialae is also occasionally defined as an apomorphy-based clade (that is, one based on physical characteristics). Jacques Gauthier, who named Avialae in 1986, re-defined it in 2001 as all dinosaurs that possessed feathered wings used in flapping flight, and the birds that descended from them.[8][14]
Despite being currently one of the most widely used, the crown-group definition of Aves has been criticised by some researchers. Lee and Spencer (1997) argued that, contrary to what Gauthier defended, this definition would not increase the stability of the clade and the exact content of Aves will always be uncertain because any defined clade (either crown or not) will have few synapomorphies distinguishing it from its closest relatives. Their alternative definition is synonymous to Avifilopluma.[15]

Dinosaurs and the origin of birds

Main article: Origin of birds📷Anchiornis huxleyi is an important source of information on the early evolution of birds in the Late Jurassic period.[16]Paraves
Scansoriopterygidae
Eosinopteryx
Eumaniraptora
Jinfengopteryx

Aurornis

Dromaeosauridae

Troodontidae

Avialae
Cladogram following the results of a phylogenetic study by Cau et al., 2015.[17]
Based on fossil and biological evidence, most scientists accept that birds are a specialised subgroup of theropod dinosaurs,[18] and more specifically, they are members of Maniraptora, a group of theropods which includes dromaeosaurids and oviraptorosaurs, among others.[19] As scientists have discovered more theropods closely related to birds, the previously clear distinction between non-birds and birds has become blurred. Recent discoveries in the Liaoning Province of northeast China, which demonstrate many small theropod feathered dinosaurs, contribute to this ambiguity.[20][21][22]
The consensus view in contemporary palaeontology is that the flying theropods, or avialans, are the closest relatives of the deinonychosaurs, which include dromaeosaurids and troodontids.[23] Together, these form a group called Paraves. Some basal) members of Deinonychosauria, such as Microraptor, have features which may have enabled them to glide or fly. The most basal deinonychosaurs were very small. This evidence raises the possibility that the ancestor of all paravians may have been arboreal, have been able to glide, or both.[24][25] Unlike Archaeopteryx and the non-avialan feathered dinosaurs, who primarily ate meat, recent studies suggest that the first avialans were omnivores.[26]
The Late Jurassic Archaeopteryx is well known as one of the first transitional fossils to be found, and it provided support for the theory of evolution in the late 19th century. Archaeopteryx was the first fossil to display both clearly traditional reptilian characteristics—teeth, clawed fingers, and a long, lizard-like tail—as well as wings with flight feathers similar to those of modern birds. It is not considered a direct ancestor of birds, though it is possibly closely related to the true ancestor.[27]

Early evolution

See also: List of fossil bird genera📷Confuciusornis sanctus, a Cretaceous bird from China that lived 125 million years ago, is the oldest known bird to have a beak.[28]
Over 40% of key traits found in modern birds evolved during the 60 million year transition from the earliest bird-line archosaurs to the first maniraptoromorphs, i.e. the first dinosaurs closer to living birds than to Tyrannosaurus rex. The loss of osteoderms otherwise common in archosaurs and acquisition of primitive feathers might have occurred early during this phase.[10][29] After the appearance of Maniraptoromorpha, the next 40 million years marked a continuous reduction of body size and the accumulation of neotenic (juvenile-like) characteristics. Hypercarnivory became increasingly less common while braincases enlarged and forelimbs became longer.[10] The integument evolved into complex, pennaceous feathers.[29]
The oldest known paravian (and probably the earliest avialan) fossils come from the Tiaojishan Formation of China, which has been dated to the late Jurassic period (Oxfordian) stage), about 160 million years ago. The avialan species from this time period include Anchiornis huxleyi, Xiaotingia zhengi, and Aurornis xui.[9]
The well-known probable early avialan, Archaeopteryx, dates from slightly later Jurassic rocks (about 155 million years old) from Germany. Many of these early avialans shared unusual anatomical features that may be ancestral to modern birds, but were later lost during bird evolution. These features include enlarged claws on the second toe which may have been held clear of the ground in life, and long feathers or "hind wings" covering the hind limbs and feet, which may have been used in aerial maneuvering.[30]
Avialans diversified into a wide variety of forms during the Cretaceous Period. Many groups retained primitive characteristics, such as clawed wings and teeth, though the latter were lost independently in a number of avialan groups, including modern birds (Aves).[31] Increasingly stiff tails (especially the outermost half) can be seen in the evolution of maniraptoromorphs, and this process culminated in the appearance of the pygostyle, an ossification of fused tail vertebrae.[10] In the late Cretaceous, about 100 million years ago, the ancestors of all modern birds evolved a more open pelvis, allowing them to lay larger eggs compared to body size.[32] Around 95 million years ago, they evolved a better sense of smell.[33]
A third stage of bird evolution starting with Ornithothoraces (the "bird-chested" avialans) can be associated with the refining of aerodynamics and flight capabilities, and the loss or co-ossification of several skeletal features. The development of an enlarged, keeled) sternum and the alula, and with the loss of grasping hands, are particularly significant. [10]
Avialae
Anchiornis
Archaeopteryx
Xiaotingia
Rahonavis
Jeholornis

Jixiangornis
Euavialae
Balaur
Avebrevicauda
Zhongjianornis
Sapeornis
Pygostylia
Confuciusornithiformes
Protopteryx

Pengornis

Ornithothoraces
Cladogram following the results of a phylogenetic study by Cau et al., 2015.[17]

Early diversity of bird ancestors

📷Ichthyornis, which lived 93 million years ago, was the first known prehistoric bird relative preserved with teeth.Ornithothoraces
Enantiornithes
Euornithes
Archaeorhynchus
Ornithuromorpha
Patagopteryx

Vorona
Schizooura
Hongshanornithidae
Jianchangornis
Songlingornithidae
Gansus
Apsaravis
Ornithurae
Hesperornithes
Ichthyornis
Vegavis

Aves
Mesozoic bird phylogeny simplified after Wang et al., 2015's phylogenetic analysis.[34]
The first large, diverse lineage of short-tailed avialans to evolve were the Enantiornithes, or "opposite birds", so named because the construction of their shoulder bones was in reverse to that of modern birds. Enantiornithes occupied a wide array of ecological niches, from sand-probing shorebirds and fish-eaters to tree-dwelling forms and seed-eaters. While they were the dominant group of avialans during the Cretaceous period, enantiornithes became extinct along with many other dinosaur groups at the end of the Mesozoic era.[31]
Many species of the second major avialan lineage to diversify, the Euornithes (meaning "true birds", because they include the ancestors of modern birds), were semi-aquatic and specialised in eating fish and other small aquatic organisms. Unlike the Enantiornithes, which dominated land-based and arboreal habitats, most early euornithes lacked perching adaptations and seem to have included shorebird-like species, waders, and swimming and diving species.
The latter included the superficially gull-like Ichthyornis[35] and the Hesperornithiformes, which became so well adapted to hunting fish in marine environments that they lost the ability to fly and became primarily aquatic.[31] The early euornithes also saw the development of many traits associated with modern birds, like strongly keeled breastbones, toothless, beaked portions of their jaws (though most non-avian euornithes retained teeth in other parts of the jaws).[36] Euornithes also included the first avialans to develop true pygostyle and a fully mobile fan of tail feathers,[37] which may have replaced the "hind wing" as the primary mode of aerial maneuverability and braking in flight.[30]
A study on mosaic evolution in the avian skull found that the last common ancestor of all Neornithes might have had a beak similar to that of the modern hook-billed vanga and a skull similar to that of the Eurasian golden oriole. As both species are small aerial and canopy foraging omnivores, a similar ecological niche was inferred for this hypothetical ancestor.[38]

Diversification of modern birds

See also: Sibley–Ahlquist taxonomy of birds and dinosaur classificationAvesPalaeognathae
Struthioniformes

Tinamiformes
Neognathae
Other birds (Neoaves)
Galloanserae
Anseriformes

Galliformes
Basal divergences of modern birds based on Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy
All modern birds lie within the crown group Aves (alternately Neornithes), which has two subdivisions: the Palaeognathae, which includes the flightless ratites (such as the ostriches) and the weak-flying tinamous, and the extremely diverse Neognathae, containing all other birds.[39] These two subdivisions are often given the rank of superorder,[40] although Livezey and Zusi assigned them "cohort" rank.[5] Depending on the taxonomic viewpoint, the number of known living bird species varies anywhere from 9,800[41] to 10,758.[42]
The discovery of Vegavis, a late Cretaceous member of the Anatidae, proved that the diversification of modern birds started before the Cenozoic era.[43] The affinities of an earlier fossil, the possible galliform Austinornis lentus, dated to about 85 million years ago,[44] are still too controversial to provide a fossil evidence of modern bird diversification.
Most studies agree on a Cretaceous age for the most recent common ancestor of modern birds but estimates range from the Middle Cretaceous[1] to the latest Late Cretaceous.[45] Similarly, there is no agreement on whether most of the early diversification of modern birds occurred before or after the Cretaceous–Palaeogene extinction event.[46] This disagreement is in part caused by a divergence in the evidence; most molecular dating studies suggests a Cretaceous evolutionary radiation, while fossil evidence points to a Cenozoic radiation (the so-called 'rocks' versus 'clocks' controversy). Previous attempts to reconcile molecular and fossil evidence have proved controversial,[46][47] but more recent estimates, using a more comprehensive sample of fossils and a new way of calibrating molecular clocks, showed that while modern birds originated early in the Late Cretaceous, a pulse of diversification in all major groups occurred around the Cretaceous–Palaeogene extinction event.[48]
EDIT: that was fast
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2020.06.07 22:54 Ificouldonlyremember An annotated guide to free fossil identification and collecting resources.

An annotated guide to free fossil identification and collecting resources.
Delaware:
“A Guide To Fossil Sharks, Skates, And Rays From The Chesapeake And Delaware Canal Area, Delaware” BY Edward M. Lauginiger And Eugene F. Hartstein, 1983, 65 pages, 6MB. Essential for identifying Delaware fossils.
https://www.dgs.udel.edu/sites/default/files/publications/OFR21.pdf
“Cretaceous Fossils From The Chesapeake And Delaware Canal: A Guide For Students And Collectors”, By Edward M.Lauginiger, 1983, 61 pages, 2MB. A revised version of the above intended for teaching.
https://www.dgs.udel.edu/sites/default/files/publications/SP18.pdf
Florida:
“Vertebrate Fossil Localities In Florida”, Stanley J. Olsen, 1965, 36 pages, 9MB. Definitely dated, things have changed so much in Florida, but worth a look.
http://publicfiles.dep.state.fl.us/FGS/FGS_Publications/SP/SPPRIDE/SP12PRIDE/FSGS%20Special%20Publication%20No.12.pdf
Illinois:
“Guide For Beginning Fossil Hunters” by Charles Collinson, 2002, 64 pages, 4MB. A really nice guide for identifying Illinois fossils.
http://library.isgs.illinois.edu/Pubs/pdfs/ges/ges15.pdf
“Guide to Pennsylvanian fossil plants of Illinois” by James R. Jennings, 90 pages, 8MB. Very nice detail on where to look for fossils.
http://library.isgs.illinois.edu/Pubs/pdfs/ges/ges13.pdf
Iowa:
“Fossil Collecting Areas in Iowa”. Brief 2-page guide from U of Iowa with some good references:
https://www.iihr.uiowa.edu/igs/publications/uploads/Em-04.pdf
“Fossils and Rocks of Eastern Iowa” by J.N. Rose, 1967, 83 pages, 43MB. A large file but an essential free resource for fossil collecting in Iowa.
http://publications.iowa.gov/25584/1/2015-12-17_15-12-29_es-1.pdf
“Fossils of Iowa” by Robert Charles Wolf, 2006, 200 pages. Not free, but IMHO among the best state guides to collecting fossils anywhere. Detailed descriptions of exactly where to look. A nust if you are hunting fossils in Iowa.
Kentucky:
“Fossil Beds Of The Falls Of The Ohio”, by Greb, Hendricks, and Chesnut. 1993, 48 pages, 7MB. Detailed guide to a small area.
https://kgs.uky.edu/kgsweb/olops/pub/kgs/KGSXISP19reduce.pdf
“Paleontological survey of the Pennsylvanian rocks of the Eastern Kentucky Coal Field” by Donald R. Chesnut Jr, 1991, 74 pages, 29MB. A highly technical list of which species have been described from where.
https://kgs.uky.edu/kgsweb/olops/pub/kgs/KGS11IC36.pdf
“Mississippian rocks in Kentucky” By Edward G. Sable and Garland R. Dever, Jr. 133 pages, 32MB. A USGS publication. Not about fossils, technical guide to rock formations, but will tell you where to look.
https://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/1503/report.pdf
“Paleontology of Kentucky” 1931
http://www.uky.edu/OtherOrgs/KPS/poky/indexpoky.htm
Maryland:
“Miocene Fossils Of Maryland”, By Vokes, Glaser and Conkwright, 1999, 80 pages, 8MB. Technical, but a very useful identification guide.
http://www.mgs.md.gov/output/reports/BULL/BULL_20_2000.pdf
“Maryland Geologic Survey, Miocene Text”, 1904, 722 pages, 32MB
“Maryland Geologic Survey Miocene Plates”, 1904, 262 pages, 8MB
Old, dated, and too technical, but the plates are worth looking at.
https://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc6000/sc6046/000000/000001/000000/000040/pdf/msa_sc6046_1_40.pdf
https://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc6000/sc6046/000000/000001/000000/000041/pdf/msa_sc6046_1_41.pdf
Michigan:
“Guide to Michigan Fossils”, 1962, 9 pages, 6MB. Very basic.
https://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/GIMDL-PA03_216189_7.pdf
“The complete guide to Michigan fossils”, by Joseph J. Kchodl, 2006. Not-Downloadable. Nice pictures.
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015064698932&view=1up&seq=3
Minnesota:
“Guide to Fossil Collecting in Minnesota” by Hogberg, Sloan and Tufford, 47 pages, 2.5MB. Basic guide to Minnesota Ordovician fossils.
https://conservancy.umn.edu/bitstream/handle/11299/57229/MGS_ES_1_revised.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Missouri:
“Owl Creek (Upper Cretaceous) Fossils from Crowleys Ridge Southeastern Missouri” by Lloyd William Stephenson, 1955, 72 pages, 4MB. A technical list of Missouri fossils with some nice detail about collecting locations at the beginning and plates at the end.
https://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/0274e/report.pdf
Nebraska:
“Record in Rock: A Handbook of the Invertebrate Fossils of Nebraska”, by Roger K. Pabian, 1970, 108 pages, 13MB. Detailed fossil identification guide.
https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1002&context=conservationsurvey
New Hampshire:
“Fossils of the Littleton Formation (Lower Devonian) of New Hampshire”, by By A. J. Boucot and Robert Arndt, 1960, 24 pages, 3MB. Technical. https://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/0334b/report.pdf
New Jersey:
“The Cretaceous Fossils Of New Jersey, Parts 1”, by Horace Richards, 1958 373 pages, 16MB.
“The Cretaceous Fossils Of New Jersey, Parts 2”, by Horace Richards, 1962 345 pages, 13MB.
Extensive figures useful for identification.
https://www.nj.gov/dep/njgs/enviroed/oldpubs/bulletin61-I.pdf
https://www.state.nj.us/dep/njgs/enviroed/oldpubs/bulletin61-II.pdf
Ohio:
Identification Guide for Common Fossils of the Cincinnatian, 2013, 133 pages, 30MB. Glossy, basic guide with very nice color photos.
https://www.cedarville.edu/~/media/Files/PDF/Geology/fossil-identification-guide.pdf
“Middle and Upper Ordovician Nautiloid Cephalopods of the Cincinnati Arch Region of Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio” by Robert Frey, 1995, 180 pages, 16MB. Worth looking at just for the plates.
Pennsylvania:
“Fossil collecting in Pennsylvania”, by Hoskins, Inners, and Harper, 1983, 228 pages, 14MB. Detailed list of collecting locations.
https://archive.org/details/fossilcollecting00hosk_0
“Fossil Collecting in the Pittsburgh Area”, by John A, Harper, 1990, 53 pages, 2MB. A field trip guide, but there is some specific information of fossil collecting locations.
https://pittsburghgeologicalsociety.org/uploads/pubs/1990pghfossils.pdf
South Carolina:
“Fossil Locations in South Carolina”, by Jerry Howe and Andrew Howard, 63 pages, 27MB. As titled, lists specific fossil locations across South Carolina.
https://dc.statelibrary.sc.gov/bitstream/handle/10827/9610/MUSEUM_Bulletin_3_1978.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Tennessee:
Lower Devonian Fossils Of Tennessee”, by Kieran Davis, 20 pages, 8MB. Basic guide to Devonian fossils.
http://www.memphisgeology.org/images/Devonian%20Fossils%20of%20West%20Tennessee.pdf
Texas:
“Texas Fossils: An Amateur Collector's Handbook”, by William Matthews, 1960. Not downloadable. Good identification guide.
https://www.gutenberg.org/files/56315/56315-h/56315-h.htm
Utah:
“A Collector’s Guide to Rock, Mineral, & Fossil Localities of Utah”, James R. Wilson, 1995, 156 pages 1.5MB. Fossils and minerals. Fossil and mineral sites listed by county
http://digitallibrary.utah.gov/awweb/awarchive?type=file&item=39081
Vermont:
“Paleontology Of The Champlain Basin In Vermont”, by Charles W, Welby, 1962, 92 pages, 27MB. Useful for the plates at the end for identification purposes, and the plate legends have specific collection locations.
https://dec.vermont.gov/sites/dec/files/geo/MiscPubs/Welby_1962.pdf
Washington:
“Fossils in Washington”, by Vaughn Livingston, 1959, 41 pages, 1MB. Dated very basic guide.
https://www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/ger_ic33_fossils_in_wa.pdf
West Virginia:
“Concise Guide to Common Plant Fossils of West Virginia”, 11 pages, 5MB. Simple but nice guide to plant fossils.
http://www.wvgs.wvnet.edu/www/geoeduc/AdaptiveEarthScienceActivities/Extras/ConciseGuideToPlantFossilsWV.pdf
Wisconsin:
“Common Paleozoic Fossils of Wisconsin” by R.H. Nehm, and B.E. Bemis, 2002, 36 pages, 1.4MB. Basic identification guide useful for teaching.
https://wgnhs.wisc.edu/pubs/es045/
“The Fossils and Stratigraphy of the Middle Devonic of Wisconsin” by Herdman F. Cleland, 1911, 289 pages, 7MB. Old amd technical, but with some information on collection locations.
https://wgnhs.wisc.edu/pubs/b021/
Wyoming:
“Fossils of Wyoming” by Michael Hager, 1970, 35 pages, 5MB. Basic guide to identification of Wyoming fossils.
https://www.wsgs.wyo.gov/products/wsgs-1971-b-54.pdf
Ontario:
“Fossils of Ontario: Part 1: The Trilobites” by RoifLudvigsen, 1979, 104 pages, 7MB.
“Fossils of Ontario: Part 2: Macroinvertebrates and vertebrates of the Champlain Sea”, by Frances Wagner, 1984, 68 pages, 4MB.
“Fossils of Ontario: Part 3: The eurypterids and phyllocarids”, by M.J.CopelandandThomasE.Bolton. 1985, 52 pages, 4MB.
https://archive.org/details/fossilsofontario01bolt/mode/2up
https://archive.org/details/fossilsofontario02bolt
https://archive.org/details/fossilsofontario03bolt
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2020.04.24 08:49 Rocknocker OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – Just take a hard left at Daeseong-dong…10

Continuing…
“Well, if that doesn’t throw the damper on things.” Dax remarks on our trip back down to the ground floor.
“Yeah. How rude. Up and deceasing your own self without bothering to tell anyone beforehand.” I noted.
“This is going to be a bloody balls-up. Trust me. This is going to be inordinately messy. A bog-standard botch job. A total dog’s dinner, just wait and see.” Cliffs adds.
“First, we have to contact IUPGS. Then what? Does Bulgaria have a consulate or embassy here? I wouldn’t think so…Then what?” I grieved. For once, I was rather low; both emotionally and on ideas.
“Let’s go back to the conference room and let everyone know. We’ll pull a brain session together. We should be able to sort out what needs to be done. The hotel already knows, so the state security forces also do as well. Be prepared for lengthy interrogation sessions, Gentlemen”, Cliff advised.
Back in the conference room, we relayed the sad information. All were taken aback and there were general notes of commiseration. However, since no one knew Iskren too well personally, it was more detached professionalism rather than overt weeping and wailing.
“Let us toast to our fallen comrade!” was accepted as both entirely appropriate and a damn good idea.
I got on the conference room phone and ordered up some more sandwiches, mixers, and bottles of booze. The moment was obviously structured that way, I reasoned.
We made our toasts to our fallen comrade and we had half a chalkboard filled with suggestions of what to do next.
The main consensus was: “Nothing.”
As in there was not much we could do. We were foreign nationals in a strangely foreign land. Our comrade was the sole member of his country, that is, Bulgaria, and the closest geographically we had aboard was Dr. Academician Ivan. No one wanted to loose Ivan on the DPRK security forces and have to deal with all that international fallout.
After some number of hours, after I suggested we all remain in the conference room as we’d (A.) be together, as in unity there is strength, (2.) we’d have each other’s backs when and if it came to interrogations, and, (iii.) this is where the free booze was.
Then there was a polite knock on the door.
I, as the den mother of this special education class, slowly got up and answered the knock.
It was a cadre of DPRK internal security forces, kitted out in their spiffy, tailor-made, and actually, quite smart-looking uniforms. Shoes and buttons polished to mirror-finishes, pants creases that could cut flesh, and enough polished brass to construct a spittoon.
“Hello? Yes?” I said through the semi-opened door.
“May we please come in? If the time is convenient.”, the head military type, very treacly asked.
“Of course”, I replied, “Please, do come in.”
Four of them entered as one. They did a quick-step, tight-march formation together and went to the head of the conference table.
“Good day, gentlemen. I am Colonel Hwangbo Dong-Hyeon of Internal State Security. First, we must offer condolences on the loss of your comrade. It must have come as a shock.” He intones.
There are mutters of “Thanks.” and “Damn right it was.”
“I have been entrusted to update you on the, ah, ‘situation’. First, Dr. Iskren Dragomirov Dinev, recently deceased, has been examined by the best medical practitioners in the country. He was obviously a foreign national and state guest, and we do not wish this to be a cause of suspicion or mistrust, especially during this auspicious Festival season.” He asserted.
We listened with rapt attention.
“I am authorized to tell you that it does not appear that the late Dr. Dinev expired of any untoward circumstances; or ‘foul play’, I believe is the western term. It has been ascertained that he expired due to wholly natural causes; namely massive myocardial infarction. Given his age, apparent health, and, ah, mass, this does seem a most reasonable explanation. This has been verified by no less than three DPRK medical professionals; one of which is the Emeritus teaching professor of Cardiology at Pyongyang Medical University. Again, you have our deepest condolences on the loss of your comrade.” He continued.
“I do remember Iskren complaining of gas pains the other night at the bar,” Joon agreed. “Thought nothing of it, given the change in all our diets.”
Colonel Hwangbo studied Joon like an entomologist examining a particularly fascinating new species of beetle.
“Which has been fine! Just rather rich compared to our usual food!” Joon hastily added.
Satisfied that Joon wasn’t making light of the ‘fine’ North Korean cuisine, Colonel Hwangbo continued, “As such, the Bulgarian Embassy here in Pyongyang has been contacted and apprised of the situation. They have taken over the case, as well as recovered the mortal remains and possessions of Dr. Dinev; all of which were conserved and authenticated by his Bulgarian national counterparts.”
“Ah, that’s good”, I said, “I’m pleased that there actually is a Bulgarian embassy here.”
“Ah. So.”, Col. Hwangbo continued, “Yes. They have already taken possession of Dr. Dinev’s mortal remains and possessions as I had noted, and will handle their repatriation to his country and family. As you can see, we have acted in the best of faith and with the utmost respect for your lately departed. Again, our condolences.”
There were some “Harrumphs”, and “Yeah, rights”, from the crowd, but since I was the team leader, it fell to me to handle this situation from here on out.
“Yes, indeed”, I replied, “We see that and do so deeply appreciate your efficiency and your keeping open the lines of communication. We have absolutely no room to complain. You, your team, your country, and your services have acted to the highest degree of professionalism and decorum. Let me extend, for the team, our heartiest appreciations in this most unfortunate matter.”
That seemed to please the Korean security forces. So much so they didn’t see the rolling eyes and smirks of grudging compliance from the crowd. I gave the evil-eye to several who were twittering quietly at my delivery of a load of over-the-top twaddle in the name of international goodwill.
“Thank you, Doctor…? Doctor…?”, he asked.
“Doctor Rocknocker.” I replied, “It’s spelled just as it sounds,”, I chuckled a knowing chuckle.
Colonel Hwangbo cracked a small smile for the first time since we met.
“As long as our orders of business are concluded, “ I inquired, “Might we offer you and your men a drink or sandwich or…”
“Cigar?” he suddenly brightened.
I smiled the sly, smirking smile of one of those used to the old duplicitous game of international diplomacy.
“Why”, I replied smilingly, “Of course.”
Col Hwangbo gratefully accepted a brace of fine Oscuro cigars. Probably more tobacco he’s seen in one place at one time since the last he rousted a snozzeled Western journalist or hammered European tourist with an overage of custom’s tobacco allowances.
His team eschewed cigars, but gladly accepted a pack each of pastel-colored Sobranie cocktail cigarettes.
It still slays me to see these battle-hardened, armed-to-the-teeth, unsmiling servants of the great state of Best Korea mincing about the courtyard smoking avocado, baby-blue, and peach-colored pastel cigarettes.
The Colonel and his team left after a couple of quick smokes, sandwiches, and surreptitious beers. I even enticed the Colonel into a couple of convivial vodka toasts when his team was otherwise occupied.
“Well, gang”, I said, closing the door, “Looks like that situation has been handled, most appropriately at that. We’ll miss ol’ Iskren, but at least he went fast and hopefully painlessly.”
I knew that last one was but a load of old dingo’s kidneys as I’ve had run-ins with cardiac disorders in the past and they are anything but painless. In any case, that was, as I noted, in the past. What was done is done. It was as it was. It is as it is.
“So, gentlemen”, I say, “Let us get back to work. Reality calls. Now, we’ve given you landlubbers the lowdown on our seismic pleasure cruise. Now we’d like to hear what you who had stayed onshore have come up with.”
Erlan, Graco, and Viv fill us in on the regional geology of Best Korea and lay out a plan to examine the sedimentary piles closest to the few paved roads in the north and east of the country.
We’ll be traveling by bus, as my request for four or five off-road vehicles was denied due to timing and lack of availability.
Yeah. Right. What a massive pile of bovine biogenic colluvium. A country with a military as huge as Best Korea’s and they can’t spare a few jeeps or Hummer reproductions?
Truth be told, they still don’t trust us and don’t want to let us out of their sight.
However, we did manage to snag some internal publications from the Central Geological Survey of Mineral Resources, which we figured as a major coup. Never before were Westerners allowed to even know of the existence of these materials, much less be able to research (read: slyly copy) them.
That ‘personal shaver’ I carried was actually a sneaky personal copier, a Vupoint ST470 Magic Wand Portable Scanner with all the external stickers peeled off, and any serial numbers abraded away.
Hey, they photograph us from every angle on the sly, listen in on our conversations, record our phone calls…hell, turnabout isn’t just fair play, it’s almost expected.
It’d be rude to refuse to play along.
Anyways, we learned that The Korean Peninsula (KP) occupies a junction area of three large tectonic domains that are the Paleo-Central Asian Orogenic Belt, Paleo-Tethyan Orogenic Belt, and the Western Pacific Orogenic Belt.
Tectono-fascinating.
To summarize:
  1. The Archean Rangrim massif is divided into the Rangrim and Kwanmo submassifs, high-grade region and greenstone belt, respectively.
  2. Early Paleoproterozoic rocks underwent metamorphism up to granulite facies, which may be correlated to the Jiao-Liao-Ji mobile belt in the North China Craton (NCC).
  3. Proterozoic rift sequences in North Korea are similar to those in the NCC with rare late Paleoproterozoic strata and more Neoproterozoic strata.
  4. Mesozoic igneous rocks are extensively distributed in the KP.
  5. The main Paleozoic basin, the Phyongnam basin in NK, have a similar Paleozoic tectono-stratigraphy to the NCC.
Of most interest is item #5. The Phyongnam basin is the only sedimentary and depositional basin of mention in the north of the Korean peninsula; and therefore the center of our attention as it pertains to oil and gas.
The potential source rocks, and possible reservoirs, include the Paleozoic Late Ordovician Miru Series was identified as the Koksan Series and subsequently renamed. The 170-meter thick limestone and siltstone centered around the P'yongnam Basin have extensive crinoid, coral, and gastropod fossils. Paleogeography researchers have suggested that corals formed in the Miru Sea-a branch of the South Yangtze Sea. At the base of the Taedong Synthem is the P'yong'an Supergroup, which lies disconformably atop older Paleozoic rocks.
In the Pyongyang Coalfield it is divided into the 650-meter sandstone, shale, and conglomerate of the Nogam Formation, the 500-meter Kobangsan Formation, 350-meter coal-bearing Sadong Formation and 250-meter chert-bearing Hongjom Formation, all typically assigned to an Upper Permian shallow marine environment.
In the Mesozoic, north of Pyongyang, Precambrian basement rocks are unconformably overlain by a Jurassic limestone conglomerate ascending to layers of siltstone and mudstone. The Upper Jurassic Shinuiju Formation northwest of Shinuiju has sandstone, conglomerate, and mudstone up to two kilometers thick.
Offshore drilling in the West Korea Bay Basin indicates these rocks are the onshore extension of offshore units. It is subdivided into fluvial rocks and Upper Jurassic black shale, limestone, conglomerate and sandstone formed in a lake environment.
There are very few Cenozoic sediments are known in North Korea, likely as a result of erosion due to uplift of the peninsula. Submarine normal faults along the eastern coastline may have driven crustal tilting. The 350-meter thick Bongsan Coalfield in Hwanghae Province on the west coast preserves and coal-bearing layers dating to the Eocene.
Further to the north, in the West Korea Bay Basin Eocene and Oligocene sedimentary rocks up to three kilometers thick unconformably overlie Mesozoic rocks, formed in lakes and coal swamps during the Paleogene.
What this meant is that we’d need to travel mostly northeast and/or southwest. This was fortuitous as the paved roads in the country were created in structural valleys formed by the primary fault trends in the country. The main trans-tensional set trended NE:SW and the conjugate set trends approximately 900 to the main set at NW:SE.
The topography was heavily dissected by drainages and the terrain consists mostly of hills and mountains separated by deep, narrow valleys. The coastal plains are wide in the west and discontinuous in the east.
The plan was to take the bus north to Sunchon, then hang a right off towards Unsan and Yongha. There were outcrops between the last two towns and they appear to be upper Paleozoic to Lower Mesozoic clastics. Ideal oil and gas hunting grounds.
From there, we’d head north-northeast towards Yangwon. There appeared to be some fair to excellent outcrops of rocks that are as of yet, unidentified as to age. From there, we’d continue to follow the outcrop belts either to their termination at the basin’s edges or at international borders with China or Russia.
But, once we hit the field, time goes into relative warp. Put a bunch of geologists out on some relatively virgin outcrops and just stand back as they spend hour after hour after hour first looking for evidence of the formation’s provenance, it’s age and field relations. Then begin the heartfelt, stalwart, and sometimes vicious, arguments between all concerned about each and every one of those salient points.
We were all looking forward to it and wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s our intellectual and scientific equivalent of meat and potatoes.
We all agreed on a way forward and generated a document to deliver to those in charge of our logistics on this trip. There would be a total of 11 Western geoscientists, four guides, perhaps a couple of national geologists or geophysicists, and whatever cadre the shiny suit squad wanted to include.
There would also be a driver, his relief, and a couple of extra translators. Good thing it was a large bus, as it’s going to be a huge crew.
We needed to allow our handlers a full day to arrange room and board for us while in the field, as we had to be bivouacked somewhere outside our fine hotel. It needed to be secure, pass sanctuary muster, and be ‘controllable’, referring to both Western scientists and nosy locals.
One thing we found odd was the lack of concern for long-term logistics, not to mention the end of our self-ordained indentured servitude. When this trip and all the Western geoscientists were contacted, we were all assured of an opportunity to meet with the Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-Un once our trip was completed.
We were to personally deliver one hell of an international photo-op. A ‘hey look how progressive we are’ meeting and our findings in this wonderful and progressive country.
But lately, with what we thought was the fallout of the Festival washing out all the usual propaganda, we’ve heard nothing about Herr Comrade Leader Supremo, K1J1-Un. Nor had we heard one iota about our intended final meeting with him before we left for China.
Since there are “absolutely no” COVID-19 cases in Best Korea, it seemed, well, odd that Beijing was our only possible current exit port of call, and onward to our individual homes.
There were all flavors of rumors flying all throughout the basement bars and casinos of the hotel. One claimed that Kim was now receiving treatment at a villa in the Mount Myohyang resort north of the capital Pyongyang after cardiovascular surgery. That he was near death and that his sister, Kim Yo Jong, is already warming up in the North Korean political bullpen if her brother kacks it.
Others said Kim is believed to be staying at an unspecified location outside of Pyongyang, with some close confidants. It was said that Kim appeared to be normally engaged with state affairs and there has not been any unusual movement or emergency reaction from North Korea's governing party, military, or cabinet.
There was also one other that tries to cover up any conspiracy rumors by shouting over a raspy bullhorn: "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"; but most ignored that little crank.
We all thought that rather odd, but of fairly low concern. In the final analysis, it would have little impact on our studies and their outcome. In other words, it wouldn’t affect our pay one way or the other. We all felt like we’ve given more than what was called for on missions such as this.
And we still haven’t a clue as to when this will all come to an end.
However, we all agreed to the consultation, it would have been fun to meet with him and have our pictures taken with the Supreme Leader. Dr. Academician Ivan Ivanovich Khimik. was especially cheesed that he might miss the opportunity to make finger-vee bunny ears behind the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the DPRK during one of our photo sessions.
We all agree if we do somehow find ourselves in the same room with Ivan and Kim Jong-Un, we’ll form a human shield around the latter. We want to get back home; as we’ve all heard the rumors of the horrors of ‘political realignment’ camps here in Best Korea.
So the meeting breaks up and I’m left with Dax to take the final inventory. Two loads of sandwiches gone, piles of used napkins, ketchup-y table linens, bacon rinds and chicken bones, drippy ends of ice cream cones, prune pits, peach pits, orange peel, gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal, pizza crusts, and withered greens, soggy beans and tangerines, crusts of black burned buttered toast, gristly bits of beefy roasts…
“The hell with this”, I say, I grab the last nearly full bottle of vodka and hand Dax a bottle of Royal Navy dark Rum.
“Tally’s good”, I say, not really giving two tiny shits at this point. “At least, I think it is. Let’s make like horseshit and hit the trail.”
“I’m headed back to our floor and going to zone out in front of some old, looped BBC for the next few hours with a cold drink and hot cigar.” I proclaim.
“Oh, hell”, Dax says, “I agree. It’s been a weird couple of days. Let’s go.”
And so we do.
On the way, I leave the logistics concerns and itinerary for the upcoming field trips with the front desk clerk. I slip her 1000 won as its Festival! and I had a bulgy pocketful of same. She smiled and quietly said there’s be a surprise waiting for me in my room when I got there.
“Rock, you fucking old hound!”, Dax exclaimed as he punched me lightly on the shoulder. “Taking a dip in the hotel secretarial pool?”
“Dax, you surprise me”, I said in my defense, “I have been, and continue to be, happily married for the last 38 years to the most loving, most intelligent, most well-connected, and most accurate snap-shot with a Glock .380 Automatic I know of.”
“Well, me ol’ mucker”, Dax smiles slyly, “If one has been happily married for 38 years, one must have a little something on the side. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge, ‘eh, Squire?”
“Oh, nothing like that”, I replied, while waiting the obligatory 30 minutes for the fucking elevator to arrive. “I couldn't break my word to Esme, and not because I don’t believe in a God that will send me to Hell without an electric fan or because it's not the right thing to do. I simply don't want to. A man is only as good as his word; and if he loses that, he loses too much. I couldn’t function without people thinking that I’m square and on the level. My business would crumble to dust. As would my marriage.”
“Yeah, there is that”, Dax agrees, “You say something is going to happen and God damn, it fucking happens. That’s what makes you honest and honestly scary.”
I stare intently at the annunciator that tells me the fucking elevator is stuck on 4 again.
“You’re not mob, are you?” Dax harshly whispers, snickeringly.
I turn to face Dax and smile wistfully.
Я с уважением отказываюсь отвечать, потому что я искренне верю, что мой ответ может обвинить меня”, I reply quietly.
“What the hell does that mean?” Dax demands.
“I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly believe my answer might tend to incriminate me”, I calmly reply.
“Oh, look. Bloody elevator’s finally here.” I note and stride aboard.
Dax gets caught up in the tsunami of the crowd and is carried bodily inside. It was so remorseless, he almost lost his grip on his bottle of Dark Rum.
Up on ‘our’ floor, I go to key open my room. Dax is just down the hall and looking around to see what special surprise might show up. I was too tired to wait so I just push in, and see all my field clothes fully laundered, pressed, and either folded or hanging.
Someone broke into my room during the day and committed a compound neatness.
“POUND! Pound! POUND!” Hmm, appears to be someone at my door.
“Yes, Dax?” I said.
“You too?” he fumed, “Everything, cleaned to within an inch if its life. They even polished my bloody field boots.”
“Oh, fuck”, I said and ran to find mine re-pristinized.
“FUCK! FUCK! FUCKITYFUCKFUCK!” I swore. They had polished my field boots and removed the fine years-of-work-to-acquire near-subsurface of the leather’s oil layer. They polished the water-proofing and conditioning out of the leather of our boots.
“OK. OK.”, I said, “Minor emergency. Cool out. I have the solution.”
I toss Dax a small can. It was brown, oily, and claimed to be “Neatsfoot oil”. It was the SPF- 500 of field leathers.
“Go ahead and oil them up with that”, I told Dax, “I’ve got another can, so don’t worry. Use what you need, don’t be shy, but if there’s any left, let me know. I’ll combine ours and offer it to anyone else in the team who had their boots steam-cleaned.”
So, a bit later, I’m sitting on my hotel room’s floor, on several sheets of newspaper, rubbing Neatsfoot Oil into my ancient, multinational size 16 EEE Vasque™ Tracker field boots.
Then there’s a knock at the door.
“It’s open. Enter carefully”, I say aloud.
It’s a bell clerk with a room service cart. On the cart are a bucket of ice, a bowl of sliced limes, I think, several gimlet glasses, some Best Korean ‘Air Koryo’ carbonated citrus drink, and a fresh bottle of “Kaesong” vodka.
“Compliments of the front desk”, the bellman says.
I stand up, tip him a few thousand won, and set a new record in mixology; a fresh brace of drinks in less than 7.3 seconds.
I offer the bellman the lighter one and he accepts with a wide smile.
I say “건배” (geonbae) literally means 'empty glass', which is similar to the expression 'bottom's up'. For you see, my Korean’s coming along a treat.
We clink glasses and send those drinks to the places that they’ll do the best.
The bellman smiles offloads the cart onto the table in my room, shakes my hand, and departs.
I finish my boots, my drink, and my cigar. After another drink or seven, I crater early. Dax was right; it had been a long, weird day.
The next day, Festival! is still going strong, but still no word on the whereabouts of El Líder Supremo. I find that odd, only slightly interesting, and since it will impact the day’s events zero, I file it away for maybe later use.
I go to the hotel pool around 0530 and there’s no one there. I’m able to get in a good 100 laps, unburdened with either small talk or by yammering kids blocking my lanes. I go early as I don’t wear gloves in the water, obviously. Statistically, there is less chance there will be others, adults and kids included, that would get freaked out by my gnarly left hand. I really don’t feel like recounting the old Russian Rig Accident story again.
After a brisk shower and double shower-scotch back in my room, I dress casually and wander down to the casino and bar level. It’s essentially breakfast time, but with the revelers not giving two hoots to AM vs. PM, it’s surprisingly busy. I find a perch up on Mahogany Ridge and order a classical breakfast cocktail of one liter of beer and 100 milliliters of chilled vodka.
I see Mr. Ho is manning the bar. I ask him to ring the massage parlor down the hall and see if Ms. Nang Bo-Hee is free sometime this morning.
He does and reports that she has an open hour and a half at 0900. Would I like it or any portion of that time?
“I’ll take the lot”, I said. “Tell them I’ll be there spot on 0900.”
“That’s great.”, Mr. Ho says, hanging up the phone, “Doctor Rock, they tell me that with the Festival discount and you taking the full 90 minutes, they can cut you a very special deal.”
“I’ll bet”, I replied, “Like what?”
“Oh, I cannot say for they did not tell me”, he smiled, “They will tell you when you arrive.”
“Marvelous”, I exhaled tiredly. “Another, Mr. Ho; make it a double, if you would please.”
The massage center here is run by a group not employed directly by the hotel. It’s a separate entity altogether. They run specials and have different discount programs that are not only not controlled nor advertised by the hotel, but they’re also not in any way beholden to the hotel, except for rent, I suppose and run it like their own little fiefdom.
Ms. Nang, my preferred masseuse, is a little, tiny Korean lassie about 5 feet tall and probably all of 90 pounds soaking wet. However, she is amazingly well trained and could probably put me in the hospital for a lengthy visit with her wiles and methods of flesh, bone, and muscle manipulation.
She offers a whole suite of different massage genres: Swedish, hot stone, aromatherapy, deep tissue, sport, trigger point, reflexology, shiatsu, Thai, and Rolfing.
Oh, fuck. I know Rolfing. I tried that nonsense back in grad school with an old east Indian lady that could have linebackered for the Minnesota Vikings. That shit fucking hurt. Today, it’d incapacitate me permanently. That’s a definite no-go.
I decide that it’s going to be the Hot Stone-treatment today. A geological-manipulation inquiry.
At 0900 I’m the only client at the massage ‘store’. It’s early, day two of the festival, and people are either sleeping off the previous night’s festivities or too wobbly to even think of partaking in a massage.
I’ve had several major back surgeries over the years, including one bilateral laminectomy about seven years ago that removed 7.5 kilos of overgrown bone and muscle from my lumbar region, so I’ve been very cautious about soliciting a massage. The masseuse has to know that area is strictly verboten and will do everything to avoid annoying that particular piece of bodily real-estate.
I’ve walked or limped out of massages before where the practitioner said they understood my reticence, but went ahead and kneaded and provoked that land of keloids and deep-body scar tissue.
However, based on past experience, Ms. Nang knows full well my reluctance as well as my desires. That’s the reason I’m returning. She’s very, very good; a consummate professional and has a never-ending series of jokes and observations while she’s pummeling you into submission.
Today, we retire to a private cubicle and she hands me a small robe or napkin, not sure which, of Korean manufacture.
She tells me to get au natural and to wear the robe while she prepares the tools of her trade.
OK, I’m not a small person; not by a long shot. This robe, however, is made for a sprite, not even for a small person.
She returns to our massage cubicle as I’m sitting there, at the end of the massage table, sipping my drink clad only in my dapper red-and-white checkered boxers.
“You need to be unclothed, Doctor. Use the robe. OK, sir Rock?” she says.
“Ms. Nang,”, I said, shaking my head, “It’s one or the other.” I show her how laughable the robe is as I can’t even get it over my upper arm. It’s not even as a tea towel when it comes to covering my expansive acres of exposed epidermis.
“I can close door.”, she says, “I’m used to it. I am professional. Does not bother me if it does not bother you.”
I lost all forms of bashfulness, timidity, or prudery long, long ago. After years and years of Russian banya, Swedish massage, Turkish baths, and surgery; well, if it don’t bother you, it don’t bother me.
“OK”, I say, using the robe as a small two-dimensional breechcloth. She tells me to ‘hop’ up on the massage table and lie down, facing the floor.
After chuckling about the fact that I haven’t hopped for decades, I wander over to the nicely padded and extremely clean massage table and lie down. She rearranges the ‘robe’ to cover my backside and tells me to relax. She’ll be right back with the stones.
I’ve never tried this type of massage before, but as a geologist, I must; if for nothing else, progress in the name of science.
Ms. Nang returns with a large parcel consisting of many sizes of steamed stones. They were river-washed and tumbled basalt from the looks of them, all wrapped in a large fuzzy towel.
Now she finds the large towels…
She selects them one by one and places them in ‘special, strategic’ spots on my exposed back. From the lower 2/3rds of the nape of the neck, down the spine, over the fundus mountains, and down the back of each leg.
It’s a warm, almost hot in some places, but not an uncomfortable feeling. She returns to adjust them, grind them in a bit in places, and flip them to extract all that igneous lithological thermal goodness.
I have to admit, at that point, it was feeling quite delightful. Relaxed; I had my drink and was being kneaded My dorsal musculature was being de-lithified by the application of hot rocks and expert point massage.
All was going quite well as Ms. Nang was building a huge tip in her ‘job well done’ bank.
Then the rocks had all attained room temperature. She excused herself to reload with another minor outcrop’s-worth and told me to flip over for round two of the process.
“In for a dime, in for a dollar”, I said, as I flipped over and use the robe as a laughable forward-facing breechcloth.
Ms. Nang mentioned that she was always fascinated by Westerners and their surplus of bodily fuzz. With my long, shoulder-length silver hair, full Grizzly Adams beard that drooped down to my sternum, and torso that picked up where my beard left off; she was quite unprepared to see the beached silver-gray panda that awaited upon her return.
“Dr. Rock!’, she exclaimed, “You are as a bear! So much hair. And silver color!”
“Yeah, sorry”, I replied, “Just the hand genetics dealt me. I guess it’s an adaptation for ethanol-fueled organisms that never feel cold.”
“I will soon return.” She titters excitedly and almost runs out of the room.
“Hmmm. I wonder what that’s all about?” I muse as I lie largely undraped in the massage cubicle.
Suddenly, the door bursts open and every female massage practitioner there herded into the room. They simply had to see the specimen upon which the delightful Ms. Nang was working.
OK, truth be told, I was a bit taken aback. Here I am lying on an elevated, and heavily padded, massage table. I’m ‘wearing’ only a crooked, worried grin and a sheet of a cotton washcloth that measures about 12x12 inches.
They Oohed! and Ahhhed!
I did feel like some form of an alien animal suddenly thrust out into public view. It was a bit disconcerting, but as usual, I just tried to deflect any unease with jokes and idiot remarks. At my age, not much is going to bother me, and this I found all the more laughable than troubling.
Suddenly, I was fielding their barrage of questions:
“You are American? All American men so…hairy?”
“Yes and no”, I replied. I also mentioned I hadn’t undertaken a study in that particular subject.
“Why you so big?” one tiny lass asked, eyes as big as dinner plates.
“Genetics”. I replied. “Just a corn-fed Baja Canadian doofus. We grow ‘em big back home.”
“Can we touch?” one particularly brave little lass asks.
“Touch what?” I asked. Look, I might be over 6 decades old, but there are still some areas reserved for my one and only betrothed.
I did tell Esme of this whole event later that evening during our nightly call. She laughed herself silly.
“Your beard! Oriental men never have such beard. We touch maybe?” she implored.
I was going to say “Go nuts”, but I decided that a simple “Sure” would be more fitting.
So they did. They were enthralled. They had never before, from what I was told, seen such a large silver-gray ZZ Top-style beard, especially here at the hotel. That part was weird enough, but when they started in on working their way south toward the equator, I had to say something to dissuade them.
“Where were you girls 45 years ago?” I laughed.
I don’t think they got the joke. They became somewhat bolder in their austral exploratory activities.
“OK! Time out! Ms. Nang! We have an appointment to keep”, I said as I shooed the rest of the lassies away, “We need to finish what we started.”
By the time that the third syllable of that last sentence came into being, I knew it wasn’t the right thing to say.
They all laughed and tittered as Ms. Nang ushered them out of the room. I could have sworn I heard the door lock behind them.
Ms. Nang reprieved her earlier stone placement therapy, with a couple of strategic detours.
She wasn’t that type of masseuse, and I wasn’t looking for that type of massage. She did, however, knead and pummel me mercilessly.
I’ve been bruised less from barroom brawls.
Finally, she announces that she’s finished. She’ll leave while I shower, as she used essential aromatic oils, and would await me out in the lobby.
After showering, I felt like a large bowl of pummeled Jello. I felt relaxed, and for the first time in weeks, my back was silent. My head was clear as a spring Sunday morn in Reykjavik.
The full 90 minutes, plus sideshow, was 4,500 won.
I paid the owner the required sum and handed Ms. Nang an additional 15,000 for a job well done. And for another anecdote that goes into the hopper.
I left the massage parlor feeling quite fine, thank you. I wandered over to the bar to see if I could augment and prolong this feeling of harmony with the universe. The mental picture even now of all those cooing Korean lassies in the massage room never fails to elicit a laugh and head shake.
A few hours later, I’m back in my room, tidying up my field notes and making certain all my paperwork was heavily encoded and up to date. It was, so I placed a number of expensive overseas calls to catch up with everyone on the outside.
I’m thinking of calling room service to have my mini-bar repaired when my room phone rings.
“Now who would be calling me at this hour?” I wondered.
It was the tour group leader. He informed me that the itinerary had been worked out and we’d be leaving tomorrow for the field at 0600. We were to arrive with all our luggage and be prepared to check out. We would spend at least a week in the field, if not two, depending on our results, and be bivouacking in different places in the interior of the country.
I thanked him for the information and said I’d inform the rest of the team. He told me that wouldn’t be necessary as they would come up to or floor, deliver the notice verbally, or by note if they were out of their rooms. If I wanted to later call each participant and ensure they were apprised of the situation, that would be most appreciated.
I assured him I would do so and that we’d be ready, to a man, at 0600 the next day.
I whip up 10 Post-it™ notes and stick one on each member’s door.
“Leaving for the field. Check out 0530. Wheels up 0600. Bring all luggage. Road trip!”
To be continued…
submitted by Rocknocker to Rocknocker [link] [comments]


2020.04.14 22:04 rebeccalarochelle Lab 3: Fossils

Location with 10 Species – Martinsburg Formation, Virginia [37.3803, -80.8572] ; all of these came from a deep subtidal shelf so these are all marine animals and this habitat must have been underwater at some point in history; Ordovician period
1) Rafinesquina alternata – This is a brachiopod that lived undertwater and looked kind of like a clam, but symmetrical.
2) Dalmanella bassleri – This is another underwater brachiopod that looks similar to Rafinesquina alternata but appears to have more pronounced ridges on its shell.
3) Cryptolithus sp. – This is a type of trilobite, which is an arthropod.
4) Prasopora sp. – This is a bryozoan, which means it was an animal that it lived in colonies.
5) Sowerbyella rugosa – This is a brachiopod like the first two animals, but it looks very different. Instead of looking more like the clams we see today, it has a long, flat side.
6) Lingula sp. – This is another brachiopod, and there are living members of this genus still around today. It has a oval-shaped shell and a “stalk” that comes out one end.
7) Craniops sp. – This is also a small brachiopod, and to me it looks like a small clam.
8) Ctenodonta pulchella – This is a bivalve that lived in coastal waters or freshwater that had a lot of minerals. It was a diatom and it was only about 4 to 7 micrometers long.
9) Isotelus sp. – This is another example of a trilobite, and this genus has some of the largest species of trilobite. It was also unusually flat.
10) Zygospira lebanonensis – This is another small, sort of clam-like brachiopod.

Location with a vertebrate species – Monroe County, West Virginia; There are fossils from Megalonyx jeffersonii, also called Jefferson’s Ground Sloth, in a cave in Monroe County. Not much is known about the layers of rock in the cave because there was a lot of mining nearby that destroyed much of the rock. I thought these fossils were interesting because the Jefferson Ground Sloth is actually the West Virginia state fossil. This sloth was 8 to 10 feet long and lived during the Ice Age. The name Megalonyx means “giant claw,” referring to the huge claws this animal had. It was first discovered in 1797 In Monroe county and named for Thomas Jefferson.

Location with a brachiopod – Little Walker Mountain, Wythe County, Virginia 37.4° N, 81.6° W; Tylothyris mesacostalis is a small brachiopod that looks kind of like a clam. To me, it looks like a small version of the clams you can pick up in rivers and streambeds around West Virginia. This fossil came from the Chemung Formation which is dated to be from the Devonian Period. It would have lived in a marine environment.

I will try to post more about these animals once I do more research.
Sources (yes, some of these are just image searches, but I could not find much on those fossils yet and just wanted to get an idea of what they looked like)
https://statesymbolsusa.org/symbol/west-virginia/state-dinosaur-or-fossil/megalonyx-jeffersonii
http://strata.uga.edu/cincy/fauna/articulata/Zygospira.html
https://www.britannica.com/animal/Isotelus
https://diatoms.org/species/ctenophora_pulchella
https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=craniops+sp&FORM=HDRSC2
https://www.britannica.com/animal/lamp-shell
http://www.ordovicianatlas.org/atlas/brachiopoda/strophomenata/strophomenida/sowerbyellidae/sowerbyella/sowerbyella-rugosa/
https://www.britannica.com/animal/Prasopora
https://www.britannica.com/animal/Cryptolithus
https://www.google.com/search?q=Dalmanella+bassleri&source=lmns&bih=751&biw=1536&hl=en&ved=2ahUKEwiJpMjB1uXoAhUCkKwKHdDSDuIQ_AUoAHoECAEQAA
http://www.ordovicianatlas.org/atlas/brachiopoda/strophomenata/strophomenida/rafinesquinidae/rafinesquina/rafinesquina-alternata/
https://paleobiodb.org/classic/basicCollectionSearch?collection_no=108095
https://paleobiodb.org/classic/basicCollectionSearch?collection_no=85584
https://paleobiodb.org/classic/basicCollectionSearch?collection_no=85585
https://paleobiodb.org/classic/basicCollectionSearch?collection_no=85589
https://paleobiodb.org/classic/basicCollectionSearch?collection_no=54265
https://viewsofthemahantango.blogspot.com/2014/07/tylothyris-mesacostalis-brachiopod-from.html
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2020.04.13 07:02 Rocknocker OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – Just take a hard left at Daeseong-dong…6

Continuing.
After the third pony keg of beer was delivered, it was decided that the next few days would be spent in the conference room discussing what we thought was the best way forward.
We wanted dry-erase boards so we could start taking detailed notes, even though I was well ahead of the curve in that regard. We instead ended up with some mobile elementary-school blackboards and a pile of grainy, sooty chalk.
Leave it to Dr. Cliff to go into a discourse on the genesis of chalk and its economic importance.
Bloody carbonate geologists.
Bloody White Cliffs.
We geologists need to punctuate their conversations with pictures, so these would suffice quite well.
At 1700 hours, the official end to the workday was called; we’d meet here again tomorrow. I’m not certain by whom, but it was readily agreed upon. We were more or less on our own until 1000 the next day. I needed to spend some time in my room with my notes and update a number of dossiers, field notebooks, and other items I was using as a running chronicle.
Several folks decided to invade one of the hotel’s restaurants for dinner. Some wanted to head to the casino, a couple wanted to get a massage, and others wanted to do what tourists are normally wont to do on the second day of being a foreigner in a foreign land.
I declined invitations to dinner and other activities, as I had a long writing session in front of me. I wanted to get this all in its proper place while the memories and notes were still fresh.
30 minutes later, in my room after a 25-minute wait for the elevator; I’m updating dossiers, creating several new ones, and updating my field notebooks. Suddenly, after an hour’s work, I notice something is amiss.
“I don’t have a drink or a cigar,” I said to the four walls. “This. Will. Not. Do.”
I was used to Happy Hour in Russia. Happy hour is slightly different; there are no ice cubes or orange-peel twists in the vodka. Also, it lasts all day.
I remedy that situation by finding and clipping a nice, oily oscuro cigar and digging the bourbon out from under my boxer-briefs in my dresser drawer. I heft the bottle and feel that it’s significantly lighter than when I left it last night. I happen to look in the trash can and spy the wrapper for a box of my festively colored Sobranie cigarettes I obtained back in Dubai.
“Hmmm”, I think, “It would appear that we have some light-fingered Cho Louies or No Louises around here. I’d best guard my supplies a little more securely.”
I move all my smokeables into one of my now emptied aluminum travel cases. They lock with the stoutest of combinations and it will be readily apparent if anyone is fucking with them.
I move some of my best booze into the pretty much worthless in-room safe. With a deft application of duct tape, I seal the safe. It may not be the most secure spot on the planet, but if anyone tries anything troublesome, they’ll leave an immediately recognizable record of what they were up to. It’s just too obvious; they’d have to be crazy to go in after anything inside there.
My money, keys, and passports are in the safe deposit box down in the lobby that the hotel supplies for visiting dignitaries. Even so, they let me keep my shit in one of them anyway.
That handled, I spend another hour writing like a madman. I suddenly realize I’m tired of all this and need a diversion as well as some food and, of course, drink.
30 minutes later, I’m down in the byzantine basement tunnels of the hotel. It’s crowded with hordes of Chinse tourists, and the casino is ground zero for the incredibly loud chatter.
I look in on the bowling alleys all three of them, and they’re full. The massage parlor is hopping, although I leave my name and they promise they will call over the PA when a suitable masseuse is available. Evidently, I ‘intimidate’ some of the more demure ones.
I wander over to the bar, now there’s a surprise, and see it’s packed to the rafters as well. I decide to wait for a seat to open up on Mahogany Ridge when there’s some gargling over the PA and a pair of Chinese nationals leave the bar in great haste.
I grab one of the two newly open seats, much to the chagrin of a couple of Oriental Unidentifiables (OU) who had their eye on them as well.
“Sorry, mate”, I said, “First come, first served. It’s the capitalist way.”
One of the pair grabs a seat and the other just stands there, looking annoyed unspent bullets in my direction. Forget that I’ve literally twice their size and could be an aberration as an angry American. They just order a couple of drinks, and content themselves in giving me dirty looks and probably say nasty things in their own indecipherable language about my national origin and familial heritage.
As if I gave the tiniest of rodental shits.
I fire up a cigar, as literally everyone else in the joint was smoking something more or less tobacco. However, there was a definite barnyard aroma, a regular Dairy Air, in the room. I think some of what was being smoked there was more bovine or equine in origin than botanical in nature.
With numerous hilarious attempts at Korean, pointing at a garishly photographed drinks menu, I was finally served a cold draft house steam porter and 100 milliliters of probably ersatz ‘Russian’ vodka, vintage late last Thursday. This bartender that could at least form some of the phonemes found in American English. A few. A definite few.
Since it all cost the equivalent of US$0.50, I really didn’t care.
Apparently vodka helps flowers last longer when they're dying. But you can put vodka in anything and it'll make it better.
Being a trained observer, I rather enjoy just sitting in any old bar, smoking my cigar, drinking my Yorshch, and watching people. I try and not be intrusive and I never eavesdrop, but I like to try and think of what strange set of circumstances brought us all here together in this place at this time. It gives me writing ideas, some of which I jot down in a notebook I always carry. It also gives me a good shot of nostalgia when I look back at something I wrote some 40 or so years ago.
Yeah, old habits do die hard.
I take a drag off my cigar and set it in the ashtray in front of me on the bar as I go to correct another egregious misspelling in my notebook. I have to immediately proofread what I wrote, or I’d never recall later what the fuck I was trying to convey; especially if it’s in a noisy, smoky, or murky milieu.
Quicker than a bunny fucks, Unidentifiable Oriental #1 (UO #1) deftly reaches over, snags my cigar, and helps himself to a few mouthy puffs.
I look at him, the empty ashtray directly in front of me, him again, and then UO #2.
Since I speak no real Oriental, much less Korean, language, and my Mandarin at this point is worse than laughable; I just point to the cigar, turn out my hands and shrug my shoulders in the international “What the actual fuck, dude?” gesture.
He just smiles a gappy, toothy, and snaggle-toothed at that, grin at me and makes a point of ensuring that I see him enjoying a few more drags on my own damned cigar.
Not able to contain myself any further, I venture a “What the fuck, chuckles? That’s not your fucking cigar.”
Like gasoline being tossed on a fire-ring full of embers, they both go unconditionally incoherently insane.
Yammering, chattering, jumping up and down, and getting right into my face. They wanted me to unquestionably understand that my few words of English insulted them far more than their filching of my $20 cigar.
OK, I’m pretty well trained in Hapkido; an oddly, given the present situation, hybrid Korean martial art. I’m at least 6 or 7 inches taller and who knows how many stone/kilos/pounds/Solar masses heavier than these two clowns. I could easily go all Gojira on their hapless asses and mop significant expanses of the floorboards with them.
Instead, I look around for the bartender. I figured since I was keeping him well supplied with Korean won via tips, and he spoke some English as well as perhaps whatever the fuck these characters were chattering; maybe he could get to the bottom of what was happening.
The bartender walks over and I ask him to ask the two unidentifiable twins why they stole my cigar.
He nods in agreement and goes on in whatever the fuck dialect was being used today by the pair.
“They say they wanted it. So they took it.” They ask, “What are you going to do about it?” the bartender relates.
I deftly reach inside my field vest, as everyone concerned ducks and covers.
I extract two fresh cigars; not a .454 Casull Magnum.
I give one cigar to the bartender and one to OU#2.
“With my compliments.” I pleasantly say.
I was well apprised of the fact that in certain places like this, the local authorities often approach foreigners with, for the lack of a better term, ‘Agents Provocateur’.
Like the Westboro Baptist “Church”, they try to get a rise out of you so you’ll lose your cool and either create a scene or take a poke at the miscreant. Then they have all the pretext they require to drag you to the local hoosegow, shake you down for every penny on your person, as well as any phones, notebooks, wallets, passports, cigars, cigarettes, etc.
Basically, they goad you into a fight, then drop the thousand-pound shit-hammer when you retaliate.
It’s all so parochial. So obviously clear as vodka; this elementary charade only raised a single eyebrow.
I’m not going to even raise my voice over a couple of cheap cigars that neither of them noticed I slipped them instead of the premium ones I was smoking.
Thus defeated, I asked the bartender to ask them if they liked the cigar.
“What do you think?” I asked in cordial English, “Too tightly rolled? Not caged enough? Too green?”
UO #2 slipped and said “It smells very good…” where he realizes he’s blown his cover.
“Yeah, I like it too.”, I replied, “So much so, I buy my own. What are your badge numbers, boys? I will be reporting this incident to Inspector P'aeng Yeong-Hwan, the head of security for the IUPGS conference to which I was invited as special scientific consultant.”
Of course, they immediately dummy up and feign illiteracy.
I say loudly and very clearly, “You bastards aren’t gonna get away with this. I mean, what is going on in this country when scumsuckers like you can get away with trying to sandbag a Doctor of Geological Sciences?”
I ask the bartender to translate, but alas, it was too late. They vamoosed when I turned to talk with the bartender.
They left so fast, they didn’t notice me snapping their pictures with my ancient but trusty Nokia 3310, revised edition, during our little chat. Even with a mere 2-megapixel picture, I have enough to show the North Korean leaders of the project to get an identification and make known my displeasure of being treated like some commoner or buffoon.
They left both my cigar and the one I gave them. The bartender tucked the cigar I gave him into his pocket and stared lustily at the two remaining on the bar.
“Take’em”, I said. I sure as fuck don’t want them. “Just a clean ashtray and a refill, if you would be so kind,” I say, as pleasantly as possible, considering the situation.
Both the unsmoked and my smoldering, as well as well-traveled, cigar disappear as quickly as minks rut. A clean, new ashtray, double beer and ‘vodka’ suddenly appear.
“No charge, Dr. Rock”, the bartender grins, as he shoves my erstwhile high-mileage cigar between his teeth.
“OK, fair enough.”, I say, “Spaseebah.”, and deposit a raft of won on the bar. The pile won’t be touched until after I leave in a few hours’ time.
“Stranger in a strange land.” I muse over a couple of further beers.
The call from the massage parlor never came, or it did and I couldn’t hear it over the clamor of the casino. I went up to the hotel’s Korean restaurant; had some salty soup, a sad, sad salad, and some form of funky fish, I think, for dinner. I retired that night in a slightly foul mood.
I called Es then the next morning and caught her before she retired. With a 14 hour difference between us, I was getting up at 0700 and she was getting ready to hit the hay at 2100.
I told her of the events of the day previous, and she was glad she wasn’t tagging along. She would have never accused the Korean geologists of being behind the times and would have probably bent the guy’s nose that swiped my cigar.
Agreed, that she’d probably be unimpressed with this place. I promised her that we’d go on a holiday when I returned from all this. It would be up to her to find out ‘where,’ and I’d supply the ‘when’ when I could.
Everything else was going along smoothly, more or less, on the home front, and I didn’t want to give the local listening-in federales too much to say grace over, so we said our parting admirations and rang off.
Shower, shower sunriser of real vodka and citrus, a quick brush and comb, and spiff of cargo shorts and new ghastly Hawaiian shirt; 30 minutes later, back down in the restaurant for the inevitable breakfast buffet.
After what some would consider breakfast and others would consider a vague attempt at nourishment, we reconvened in the conference room precisely at 1012.
Nothing like precision with this group.
We spend the next two days going over, in various groups, what we think would be required to set forth proper the quest for oil and gas in North Korea on track. Everyone got in on the act, and we advocated for that. We needed everyone’s input to make this happen. Or to even map a way forward to present to country officials. Those from the West on what was needed and those from the East to tell us what was available, and the combined wetware to make what needed to be done happen with what existed.
It took no small amount of doing, but we secured a set of maps that covered the entire country. We were watched very closely by the shiny suit squad that we did not copy, photograph or otherwise take any extraneous information from these sheets of infamy. All other maps in the country were intentionally skewed, with errors deliberately added in to confuse “interlopers, spies, or other personas non grata”.
I made a massive stink and told them that if we didn’t receive the unfuckered maps, aerial photographs and satellite imagery pronto, we’re packing up and leaving that afternoon.
“We don’t have time for monks resisting the carnival. We didn’t come here to try and guess if the maps are correct or if our remedies will actually work on maps that say one thing and reality says something else entirely.”
They hemmed and hawed, but as I made the announcement to all before lunch that if the real maps didn’t appear by the time we returned from tiffin, we’re gone.
And we take tiffin purty durn early round these parts, buckaroo.
No one was surprised as I when we returned and there were folio after folio of government-uncensored maps, photos, and imagery for our program. I guess they finally reasoned it would be a relatively good idea to begin to take us seriously.
We spent one whole day just going over our field geological apparatus. They had a good idea of how to use a direction-finder compass and Jacob’s staff to measure sections. However, they were totally flummoxed by our Brunton Compasses, GPS systems, curiously referred to as ‘position finders’, notebook mapping applications, and electronic data storage and retrieval systems.
Gad. It was like being back in the 1970s before PCs were a glimmer in IBM's corporate orbs.
We spent the next week working to bring our less fortunate colleagues up to, well, not date, but at least up to the brink of the 21st century. We explained that plate tectonics, continental drift, and the precession of the continents was accepted geoscientific principles, not some arcane Capitalist or Socialist plot to undermine the quality of science in the east.
Yep. It was that mindset we had to first conquer. I think we’ve made great headway in that direction today.
The next Chautauqua session had us split up into two separate groups. We decided in a fit of Cesarean inquiry to ‘divide and conquer’. There are two distinct milieus which are able to contain economic deposits of hydrocarbons: onshore and offshore.
Instead of attacking both head-on, we’d focus initially on the offshore domain. Once we had a good handle on what was going on under the East Korean Sea, the Huangai (Yellow) Sea and surreptitiously, the South Sea; we’d collaborate our findings and work to tie them in and extend them onshore.
The singular Phyongnam Basin is the one large depositional, sedimentological, and structural basin in North Korea. It is filled by the Joeson and Pyeongan Supergroups of sediments, which are Cambro-Ordovician and Permocarboniferous, respectively. These are good hunting grounds for oil and gas. Could be elephant–hunting country.
But before we could undertake that, we had to get ‘back to basics’. That is, we had to understand and delineate the ‘frame’ of the Korean Peninsula. In other words, we needed to figure out how and when the peninsula came into existence.
South Korea’s geology is much more complex, fortunately than that found in the North. There were nasty side comments that were due to the relative development not of the geology, but of the geologists who studied each country’s geology.
It was, perhaps, a mean way of characterizing the situation. But, unfortunately, it was also probably fairly accurate.
The Korean Peninsula is characterized by huge massifs, which are sections of a crust that are demarcated by faults or flexures. In the movement of the crust, a massif tends to retain its internal structure while being displaced as a whole. The term also refers to a group of mountains formed by such a structure. It’s basically one huge, semi-resilient rock.
The basement rocks of the Korean Peninsula consist of high-grade gneiss and schist, Paleoproterozoic Precambrian massifs, which formed in the early stage of Earth’s history. These rocks are unconformably overlain by metasedimentary rocks; schist, quartzite, marble, calcsilicate, and amphibolite, of the Middle to Late Proterozoic. The Korean Peninsula is floored by a collation of about five of these huge Precambrian massifs that acted like ‘microplates’ during the aggregation of the peninsula. These massifs consist of thick dolostone, metavolcanics, and schist, which were intruded by Paleoproterozoic granites.
These Paleoproterozoic metasedimentary and granitic rocks underwent repeated intracrustal differentiation, followed by the events of cratonization, i.e., regional metamorphism and igneous activity, at 1.9-1.8 Ga. Sediments deposited in the peripheral basins during the Mesoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic lead to stabilization as the basement of the peninsula.
These early depositional basins formed the locus of deposition that continued on from the Proterozoic through the Phanerozoic. There are at least three, perhaps four, depositional basins in the south which are delimited by structural zones, such as the South Korean Tectonic Line (SKTL), a huge zone of continental transform faults and forms the basis of boundary demarcation between the Okcheon and Taebaeksan basins.
The boundary between the Seochangri Formation of the Okcheon Basin and the Joseon Supergroup of the Taebaeksan Basin in the Bonghwajae area is a thrust (or reverse‐slip shear zone). This thrust is presumably a relay structure (i.e. a restraining bend) between two segments of a continental transform fault (the South Korean Tectonic Line or SKTL), along which the Okcheon Basin of the South China Craton was juxtaposed against the Taebaeksan Basin of the North China Craton during the Permian–Triassic suturing of the two cratons.
In the late Proterozoic, sedimentation was initiated in basins of the Korean Peninsula, accompanied by deposition of siliciclastic and volcaniclastic sediments as well as carbonates. The massifs were submerged in the Early Paleozoic during a greenhouse period, forming a shallow marine platform and associated environments.
The Cambrian-Ordovician succession unconformably overlies Precambrian granite gneiss. It consists of mixed carbonate-siliciclastic rocks of sandstone, shale, and shallow-marine carbonates. Sedimentation was initiated in the Early Cambrian with a global rise in sea level on the stable craton of the Sino-Korean Block.
There was a major break in sedimentation during the Silurian and Devonian periods in the entire platform. During the Carboniferous to early Triassic, sedimentation was resumed in coastal plain and swamp environments with progradation of deltas.
Major tectonic events were initiated in the Triassic when the South China Block collided with the Sino-Korean Block. The eastern part of the Sino-Korean Block rotated clockwise and moved southward relative to the South China Block along the SKTL.
In the Middle-Late Jurassic, orthogonal subduction of the paleo-Pacific plate under the Asian continent caused compression and thrust deformation. A number of piggyback basins formed along the thrust faults in the east of the SKTL. At the same time, the entire peninsula was prevailed by granite batholiths, especially along the northeast-southwest-trending tectonic belt.
In the Cretaceous Period, the paleo-Pacific Plate subducted northward under the Asian continent, forming numerous extensional (left-lateral strike-slip) basins in the southern part of the peninsula and the Yellow Sea. A large back-arc basin was initiated in the southeastern part.
In the Paleogene, both the volcanic arc and the back-arc basin ceased to develop, as volcanic activities shifted eastward, accompanied by a rollback of the subduction of the Pacific plate. In the Miocene, pull-apart (right-lateral) basins formed in the eastern continental margin.
The Korea Plateau experienced continental rifting accompanied by extensive volcanism during the extensional opening of the southern offshore basin. It subsided more than 1000 m below sea level.
So, as South Korea was mix- mastered by a half-a-billion years’ worth of structural tectonism, which created several depositional basins quite capable of generating and storing economic quantities of oil and gas, the scene to the north was much more quiescent.
The North was composed, from south to north, of the relict Imjingang Belt, which was an old back-arc basin between the Gyeonggi Massif to the south and the Nagrim Massif to the north. It is a paleo-subduction zone, full of volcanics, volcaniclastics and other non-hydrocarbon bearing rocks. It was mashed and metamorphosed, and basically forms a convenient boundary between the complex geology of the South and the more relaxed geology of the North.
Heading north, we come across the Pyeongnam Basin, the only North Korean basin thus far defined that could contain hydrocarbons. Further north is the huge Nangrim Massif. It’s a huge block of igneous and metamorphic rocks that weather very nicely and form some spectacular scenery, but from an oil and gas economic outlook are worthless.
Offshore North Korea, there are two possible petroliferous basins. The offshore West Korea Bay Basin and East Sea Basin, along with five onshore basins could be offering exploration potential. At least ten exploration wells have been drilled in the West Sea, with some showing “good oil shows” along with the identification of a number of potential reservoirs.
The West Sea potentially has oil and has reportedly flowed oil at reasonable rates from at least two exploration wells when they were drilled and tested in the 1980s. Meanwhile, the East Sea has seen Russian exploration efforts previously including the drilling of two wells, both of which reportedly encountered encouraging shows of oil and gas.
Onshore, there has been little exploration to date, apart from efforts by the Korean Oil Exploration Corporation and also recently by Mongolia’s HBOil JSC (HBO). Among five main onshore sedimentary sub-basins, the largest is south of the capital; while unconfirmed reports point to a 1-trillion-cubic-foot (tcf) discovery in 2002.
Historically DPRK was thought to consist of five under-explored geological basins, the
• Pyongyang,
• Zaeryong,
• Anju-Onchon,
• Gilju-Myongchon and
• Sinuiju, Basins.
These basins are all located more or less along the coast, rather than inland. This also points to a certain degree of geological aptitude; as it’s much easier to explore along the more populated coast than it is to venture inland. There may be more hiding in the interior of the country, it’s just that no one’s looked as of yet. That’s difficult. Exploring along the coast is much easier.
With 3 basins supposedly proven to have working petroleum systems; 22 wells have been drilled and the majority are said to have encountered hydrocarbons with some wells testing production at 75 barrels of oil per day of light sweet crude oil. This has yet to be documented or confirmed by the Korea Oil Exploration Corp (KOEC), North Korea’s state-run oil company.
Yeah, our work was definitely cut out for us.
It was decided that a series of excursions offshore in one of the few remaining seaworthy, which was a real judgment call, KOEC seismic boats would be appropriate. The one we received use of was an old, decommissioned Chamsuri-class patrol boat, one Chamsuri-215(참수리-215), PKMR-215 in particular.
It had been basically stripped to the gunwales and completely retrofitted as a seismic acquisition and recording vessel. It had been renamed: “조선 민주주의 인민 공화국 영광” or “Glory of Democratic People's Republic of Korea Science”.
In reality, it was an aging rust-bucket piece of shit that might have possibly seen better days but wasn’t letting on. All the military nonsense, except the powder magazine, had been removed and a new superstructure consisting of slap-dash hunks of poorly-welded low-carbon, cold-rolled steel were erected to form a pilothouse in the area where the bridge once existed. They also built, extra haphazardly, a shooter’s room, galley, cold and wet storage areas, recording room, and storage of tapes and the extra bits and pieces needed for a none-too-extended stay on the sea. It was, being charitable, almost utilitarian.
They could not make their own water, so trip times were limited to about three days in length. Besides, they didn’t really have a hot galley, so it was cold, canned Chinese chow for the next 72 hours. They had a couple of fairly sturdy yardarms with heavy winches to handle the towed seismic arrays of geophones, which were of ancient heritage and showed it. These were probably appropriated back in the 80s or perhaps earlier when they first thought about opening their waters for seismic exploration.
They ‘borrowed’ most of the sensing and recording equipment back then from oilfield service companies and simply forgot to return it once finished. Since they burned that bridge so glowingly, they couldn’t get parts nor service when things failed. Being delicate seismic sensing and recording equipment, fail they did.
So, we had to use what was leftover, or what DPRK industries could cobble together, or what could be salvaged from salt-water drenched recording equipment that hadn’t been too heavily cared for over the span of the last 50 years.
We weren’t terribly optimistic.
So, we load the good ship ‘Rorrypop’, as Viv christened the thing, and head out to the wilds of the Yellow Sea. It was an abbreviated foreign crew, as there was really nothing other than upchuck and curse me soundly for insisting the non-geophysical scientists came along.
Aboard were the two geophysicists, naturally; Volna and Activ. I was there stick-handling the logistics and hoping to help out with the geophysical signal source explosives.
Morse and Cliff, the two other geologists accompanied us on the trip, and Dax decided to go with me as he figured I’d have access to the best booze no matter where we went.
The remainder of the team, the geochemists, Erlan and Ivan, the geomechanic, Iskren, the PT, Joon, and the two REs, Viv and Grako, remained behind onshore at the hotel. They set forth cataloging what data was available; from what sources, it’s vintage, veracity, and usefulness.
Augean tasks, both. Not as fecaliferous as Hercules’ jobs, but still, they held their own rations of shit for each sub-team.
Heading seaward, the Yellow Sea extends by about 960 km (600 mi) from north to south and about 700 km (430 mi) from east to west; it has an area of approximately 380,000 km2 (150,000 mi2) and a volume of about 17,000 km3 (4,100 mi3).[4] Its depth is only 44 m (144 ft) on average, with a maximum of 152 m (499 ft). The sea is a flooded section of the continental shelf that formed during the Late Pleistocene (some 10,000 years ago) as sea levels rose 120 m (390 ft) to their current levels. The depth gradually increases from north to south. The sea bottom and shores are dominated by sand and silt brought by the rivers through the Bohai Sea and the Yalu River. These deposits, together with sand storms are responsible for the yellowish color of the water referenced in the sea's name.
Being shallow, the Yellow Sea is more perturbed by the frequent seasonal storms of the region. The area has cold, dry winters with strong northerly monsoons blowing from late November to April. I was told that the summers are wet and warm with frequent typhoons between June and October; but now all we had to contend with were swelling seas, spraying saltwater, waggling waves, and a shivering, shimmying ship.
All the navigation, communications and other shiply duties were being handled by both members of the DPRK Coast Guard Auxiliary, mostly older guys who were of great and high humorous jest; and an actual pleasure to be around. They were like their scientific cadre on this cruise, basically a political ‘give a shit’ attitude, and a desire to get the job done, smoke the American’s cigars and drink as much as we could get away with.
The scientific portion of the cruise was being undertaken by students of the various universities and members of the North Korean national oil company. The demeanors of these characters ranged from extremely earnest and stringently North Korean politically correct in the students and academicians, to a more relaxed ‘yeah, let’s just get the fucking job done so we can have a lot of drinks’ sort of view of the older members of the DPRK scientific team.
It was a fun admixture of cultures, ages, professions, and behaviors.
Oh, forgive me for forgetting to mention our ‘guides’, or handlers. They were also chosen, nay, ordered to come along. Landlubbers all, they were less than thrilled with the assignment and inevitable seasickness; which seemed endemic to those of Oriental extraction on the cruise. However, our guides did enjoy drinking. As we learned that alcohol is a central part of Korean culture, and they encouraged us to socialize with them when the time was appropriate.
Or, not appropriate, as I was being denounced by one of the geophysical students after only a few hours into our very first day. Hell, we weren’t even in the Yellow Sea proper. We started here at Pyongyang, down the Taedong River, over the Giva Dam, through Pushover, across Shmoeland, to the stronghold of Shmoe; into the very belly of the frothing Yellow Sea.
Most everyone, other than the foreign elements on board, were either making the trip in the bowels of the ship; nursing and cursing seasickness; or by rail, doing exactly the same thing.
“Chum it over the side, ya’ blinkered mucker!”, I admonished one bottle-greenish national. “This ain’t the Captain‘s mess, Chuckles. You have to clean up your own spew!”
I was reveling in getting back out on the water and regaining my sea legs. I never get seasick.
Never.
Ever.
Be it a seismic vessel in the heaving Arctic Ocean, a pirogue in the swamps of Louisiana, my cousin’s fishin’ johnboat back in northern Baja Canada, a US nuclear submarine under the permanent pack ice of the North Pole, or VLCC in the Straits of Somaliland; I just don’t get seasick.
Airsick? Nah. Carsick? Nope. Ready to puke in a Hind-20 over the Caspian Sea during a strong local thunderstorm? Close, but no cigar.
So, I’m doing a Titanic scene recreation. Up in the very bow of the craft, standing in stark defiance of the gusting winds and blowing salt spray, smoking a huge cigar, and totting out of one of my emergency flasks while trying to hang on to my Stetson. I am also endeavoring to remain upright, field vest and really, really ghastly Hawaiian shirt billowing in the breeze.
I’m not certain if it was the cigar smoke, the wind-whipped beard, and hair, the give a fuck attitude, or the flapping of the Hawaiian shirt to which the little local geophysicist objected. But he was pissed. Olive-green with seasickness, rubber-kneed but still standing a good social-distance away, reading me the riot act in high-pitched Korean.
As I usually do in such delicate situations, I just smile and wave. Show them I’m mostly harmless and they either cool down or get pissed off even more and stomp off in disgust.
Either one was a winning situation for me in my book.
So, I return to doing my ship’s figurehead imitation and revel in the wind, spray, and feeling of really being booming. Sure, some might complain of the cold, but not me, the sting of the salt-spray or the windburn; but I eschew what most people enjoy as ‘normal weather’. I live for pushing the boundaries. I love rough weather and situations that thrust the edge of the envelope further past normalcy.
Besides, we were still in sight of land. Hell, if everything went south at this very minute, one could practically walk back to shore. I can hardly wait to see what these wigglers will do if a night storm comes up when were 100 or more kilometers from land.
The boat’s thrumming heavily from both the thrust of the Soviet-era diesel engines and the craft’s bludgeoning its way through the waves. Most hull designs are so the ship will ‘cut’ through the surface waters. This craft’s flattened trihedral hull design didn’t so much ‘cut’, as ‘slam’ it’s way through. The boat would then crash up one side and smash down the other of each large wave we encountered. The boat would shudder whole, adding a new note of resonance along with the monotonous one-note song of the aged Russian diesels.
The spray would fly, the boat would convulse, time would seem to freeze until we bashed into the next wave. The captain of the vessel took his orders very seriously. “Get to coordinates XXX and YYY by the most expedient means possible.” If that meant charging, full-throttle into the teeth of the oncoming monsoon-force wind while we were traversing the worst kelp jungle I’ve seen this side of the Sargasso Sea; well, piss on it, full steam ahead.
“Fuck it”, I thought, “Not my pony, not my show. Let’s see how this plays out.” While I light a new cigar and search for Emergency Flask #2.
After I’d been upbraided by the geophysical student for transgressions still unknown, Cliff and Dax wander out to ask me what the hell I was up to.
“Have you gone completely barmy?”, Cliff asked. “It’s a full gale out here and you’re standing in the teeth of it like it was a warm, sunny Sunday in Piccadilly.”
“Nope, not at all”, I replied, “Just reveling in the delights of an angry atmosphere.”
“He’s nuts, I told you”, Dax smirked, “He’d go anywhere and do anything to have a cigar.”
“Not just a cigar, me old mucker”, I smiled and waved my second emergency flack under his nose.
“Figures”, they both respond in unison.
Dax departs and returns mere seconds later with paper Dixie-style cups he liberated from the ship’s one head. We are going to do our very best to extend the lifetime of the onboard water supply for our scientific and military friends. I pour them each a cup full.
“Whoa, Doc”, that’s gotta be 100 milliliters!” Cliff objects.
“As the Siberian saying goes: One hundred versts, roughly a hundred miles, is no distance. A hundred rubles isn't worthwhile money. And a hundred grams of vodka just makes you thirsty. Prosit!” I say in reply.
We retire to the overhang on the fantail of the boat. It’s a sunshade and keeps the worst of the weather out for the lightweights on the cruise. I decided we’d withdraw there to keep these Dominionites out of the worst of the wind and sea spray.
“Rock”, Cliff notes, “You are a complete throwback. You do not belong here in the 21st century. You need to find a way back to the Calabrian and ride herd on the continental Neanderthals. Give them the gift of distilling and tobacco agriculture, and you’d reframe the world.”
Dax agrees, but notes if I do find a way back, he and Cliff would be selected against.
“Good point”, Cliff agrees. “Rock, stay here. We need your expertise now more than ever. Plus your ready supply of strong drink and cigars.”
“Glad to know that I’m truly appreciated around these parts.” I chuckled slightly acridly.
“Ah, Rock. Buck up. You know we’re only takin’ a piss.” Cliff says.
“Aim it starboard. Don’t want it blowin’ all over the seismic gear”, I reply, laughingly.
The trip continued, and I found a not-bolted-to-the-deck chair and moved it outside under the shade back by the boat’s fantail. I refreshed my emergency flasks and replenished my cigar supply. I’m not about to sit inside and listen to the wails and gnashing of teeth of the landlubber crowd, the patter and timor of the geophysical throng as they titter and argue about array design, nor the military hut-hutting all over the fucking boat.
A couple of times, one or more of our ‘handlers’ would venture out as I had the only supply of readily available smokeables and drinkables. Oh, we had food, lots of beer, soju, some knock-off vodka, and some of that faux homebrew bourbon for later once the workday was declared over; but for now, I was the one and only dispensary.
We’d have some random chats while they screwed up their courage to ask me for a smoke or a tot of drink. I brought several bundles of really cheap-ass cigars for just such occasions; besides, I figured one of my Camacho triple-maduros would have them chumming for the remainder of the trip. I had also many, many cartons of Sobranie pastel-colored cigarettes, and many more cartons of knock-off Marlboros I bought at the duty-free when we hit town.
It was chucklingly funny to see these harsh, military, no-nonsense characters walking their duty beats smoking pastel green, lavender, and mauve cigarettes.
We got bogged down a couple of times when one or more of the ship’s twin screws fouled with kelp as we tried to put some distance between us and the shore. Each time, one really dejected low-ranking young Coast Guard character would go over the side with a rope around his waist and a knife in his hand to free the props. I was going to object as this was moronically dangerous; but, again, not my pony, not my show. This called for full proper tethering and SCUBA gear.
They had neither aboard.
Welcome to the wonders of a centrally planned economy.
To be continued.
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2020.02.08 15:37 CuteBananaMuffin Before The Pharaohs - The Evidence for Advanced Civilization in Egypt’s Mysterious Prehistory

Before The Pharaohs - The Evidence for Advanced Civilization in Egypt’s Mysterious Prehistory
by Edward Malkowski
June 15, 2013
from NewDawnMagazine Website

https://preview.redd.it/3np5sbylopf41.jpg?width=400&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d342e63bb7546259e087674c392175529dc929de
There is no other place on Earth like Egypt’s Giza Plateau.
Anyone with even a slight interest in history and civilization is aware of this fact. For on this plateau there stands the Great Pyramids and their sculpted guardian, the Great Sphinx.
Although there are plenty of theories, no one really knows who built the Giza Pyramids or carved the Sphinx, or when they were constructed.
Any statement as to who built them, or when they were built, is pure theory. In light of all the various theories concerning these mysterious structures, I don’t think the theoretical nature of the pyramid builders can be emphasized enough.
What stands out at Giza more than anything else is not only the magnitude of the construction of the pyramids, but the internal design of the Great Pyramid; three chambers, of which one is subterranean, and their connecting passageways. The passageway that leads to the so-called King’s Chamber rises to a height of thirty-six feet!
On the other hand, all other passageways were not built tall enough to accommodate the average man or woman.
There is also the unique configuration of the King’s Chamber as well as the Queen’s Chamber. Both of these contain two shafts, one on each side of the chamber.
The Queen’s Chamber contains a corbelled niche built into its east wall, and the King’s Chamber’s ceiling is composed of five granite slabs stacked one atop the other. Why these chambers were constructed in this manner is unknown.
The official theory is that the pyramids were tombs, and that King Khufu kept changing his mind where his burial chamber was to be placed; thus, the reason for three chambers in the Great Pyramid.
However, in comparison to typical Egyptian burial methods (the mastaba and the tombs in the Valley of the Kings), the Giza pyramids, and particularly the Great Pyramid, do not fair well within the Egyptian concept of a tomb.
The Ancient Egyptian View of the Afterlife The Egyptians believed in an afterlife, and the tomb was an important part of that belief.
As the tomb of King Tutankhamun testifies, the deceased’s chamber of internment was to be decorated with art and filled with that person’s possessions. Why they practiced this ritual was not for superstitious reasons, as one might suspect. It was practical, according to their beliefs, and aimed at preventing that person’s energy (spirit) from being re-absorbed into Nature’s spiritual force.
For the ancient Egyptians, Ba animated a living person, whereas Ka was the energy emanating from that person.
Although not an exact analogy, the Ka and the Ba are what traditional Western thought might refer as spirit and soul. Another important aspect of Egyptian belief represented immortality, the ankh, depicted as the crested ibis.
The Ka, represented in art by up-stretched arms, was believed to be the part of man’s consciousness and energy (man’s spirit or inner quality) that related to the immediate world. It is the part of us connected to the physical body; where it lived, its possessions, as well as the people he or she was acquainted with.
The Ka can be likened to one’s personality, which upon death is separated from the body, and naturally seeks a way to once again take form. The Ba, represented by a winged human head, or sometimes a human-faced bird, represented the part of consciousness that is immortal.
When someone passed away, it was their goal as well as the hope of the family, that the deceased’s Ka would seek a way to remain united with their Ba. To help accomplish this eternal union, the possessions of the deceased were gathered together by the family and placed in the tomb with the mummified body.
Mummification prevented the body from decomposing and returning to the soil of the Earth, whereas the tomb, with the deceased’s possessions, served as a ‘home’ for the Ka.
As a result, the Ka maintained its identity in the spiritual world and could seek out its Ba in order to achieve ankh, which resulted in the resurrected and glorified form of the deceased beyond the limits of an earthly realm.
Pyramids and the Concept of the Egyptian Tomb Like the pharaonic tombs carved into the Valley of the Kings, royal mastabas built during the early dynasties - some as early as 3000 BCE - were also designed with ‘home’ in mind, as that home relates to a person’s Ka.
Case in point: from the sixth dynasty, Mereruka’s mastaba was crafted in mansion-like proportion with thirty-two rooms and adorned with statues and art depicting, for example, scenes of wildlife along the Nile River.
The traits of Egyptian domestic life, so beautifully incorporated into the design of their tombs, are not found in the Giza pyramids. The Giza pyramids contain no art or hieroglyphics of any kind, very uncharacteristic of Egyptian tombs.
So why is it the case that the Giza pyramids are generally considered to be tombs of fourth dynasty Pharaohs?
The reason is because of an association of the Giza complex with another development ten miles south at Sakkara where the Egyptians really did build tombs as pyramids.
At Sakkara in 1881, the French Egyptologist, Gaston Maspero (1846-1916) discovered that the subterranean chamber of the Pepi I Pyramid (second ruler of the sixth dynasty) was engraved with hieroglyphics.
Over the course of subsequent explorations, it was discovered that a total of five pyramids at Sakkara also contained inscriptions, from the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth dynasties of the Old Kingdom.
In 1952, Dr. Samuel A.B. Mercer (1879-1969), Professor of Semitic Languages and Egyptology at the University of Toronto, published a complete English translation of "The Pyramid Texts" in a volume of the same name.
According to Mercer, The Pyramid Texts contained ‘words to be spoken’ concerning funerary ritual, magical formulae, and religious hymns, as well as prayers and petitions on behalf of the deceased king.1
With the pyramids at Sakkara being confirmed as tombs the associative logic came to be that all pyramids must be tombs.
Furthermore, since there are two cemeteries (mastaba fields) to the east and west of the northernmost Giza pyramid, assuming that all pyramids are tombs was a likely conclusion. However, the condition of the Sakkara pyramids - most of which are believed constructed after the Giza pyramids - poses serious problems in this logical association.
Of the pyramids at Sakkara only Djoser’s ‘Step Pyramid’ is in good condition, although not really a true pyramid. (The Step Pyramid was originally a mastaba that was modified into a pyramid.)
All other pyramids at Sakkara, most of which belong to the fifth and sixth dynasties are in ruins today and resemble mounds of rubble.
According to a consensus of Egyptologists, Djoser’s Step Pyramid at Sakkara was constructed during the third dynasty and was the forerunner to the fourth dynasty pyramids on the Giza Plateau.
After pyramid development at Giza, for whatever reason, the focus of pyramid building shifted back to Sakkara.
The Great Pyramid - A Device
The easily observable and obvious differences in the Giza pyramids and the Sakkara pyramids, which were all supposed to have been built during the same era, are a problem.
Clearly, the construction techniques, as well as materials, for the Giza pyramids were different than those at Sakkara, or else we would expect pyramids at both sites to have stood the test of time in a similar manner. They did not. The important point is why.
Did the engineers and construction workers of the Old Kingdom not pass along their methods from the fourth to the fifth dynasty? It seems they did not, which is a very curious occurrence given the stability of Egyptian civilization.
It may also be the case that the fourth dynasty Egyptians did not build the Giza pyramids. No other pyramid in Egypt (the world for that matter) is like the Giza pyramids, and in particular the Great Pyramid.
Additionally, there is no direct evidence to support the claim that the Great Pyramid, or the other Giza pyramids were tombs. Nor is there any record left by its builders as to what it was for or when it was built.
This creates a problem of explanation.
If the Great Pyramid was not a tomb, then what was it? A mystical temple for initiation ritual, or a public works project designed to unify the country? Or, was it something else entirely?
Theories are abundant, but the only theory I am aware of that covers all aspects of the Great Pyramid’s interior design, is Christopher Dunn’s theory that it was a device.
According to Dunn, the Great Pyramid was a machine for producing power by converting tectonic vibration into electricity.
There are a number of reasons to accept Dunn analysis.
First, he explains the interior design and all other evidence within the Great Pyramid in a cohesive manner. Second, he demonstrates the technical skills required to accomplish precision construction. Third, Dunn’s expertise and career is in the precision fabrication and manufacturing industry, which makes him uniquely qualified to express a professional opinion on the techniques and tools of the Giza pyramid builders.
The fact is, modern construction companies could not build the Great Pyramid today without first inventing specialized tools and techniques in order to deal with blocks of stone that vary in weight from ten to fifty tons.
Such an endeavor would be on a magnitude equivalent to building a hydroelectric dam or a nuclear power station requiring tens of billions of dollars in resources.
Although our modern economy is different than that of the ancient world, the resource required now as compared to then is the same! The stone must be quarried and moved and the workers must be paid.
The fact that an extremely large amount of resources were dedicated to Giza pyramid development over a long period of time demands, in my opinion, that pyramid building was utilitarian, and not for any fourth dynasty pharaonic vanity of having the largest headstone in the world.
Prehistory - Evidence and Perspective For me, the evidence clearly tells a very different story of early dynastic Egypt.
Sometime around 3000 BCE, the establishment and growth of permanent settlements in the Lower Nile Valley led to the development of civilization.
Why Giza and the surrounding area were chosen as the focal point for early Dynastic Egypt was because ‘civilisation’ had been there before, as the three pyramids and the Great Sphinx testify. Without knowing what the pyramids were designed for, the early Egyptians also assumed they must have been tombs.
As a result, they rejuvenated the Giza Plateau and turned it into a Necropolis, then expanded to Sakkara where they built tombs in pyramid form, albeit of lesser quality and not brandishing the skills the original builders of the Giza pyramids demonstrated.
Pyramid building, even the smaller ones at Sakkara, was resource intense, so the Egyptians reverted to burying their nobility in the traditional mastaba.
This scenario, which calls for an earlier civilization with advanced technical skills, poses another problem. It does not fit the standard model of history. However, the notion that an earlier civilization existed does not rest on the Giza pyramids alone.
There is also the Sphinx, which in 1991 was geologically dated to between 7,000 and 9,000 years old by the team of John Anthony West and geologist Dr. Robert Schoch.
Add to that the megaliths of Nabta Playa in southwestern Egypt, which is believed to have been a star viewing diagram, according to astrophysicist Dr. Thomas Brophy, that relates not only the distance from Earth to the belt stars of Orion, but their radial velocities as well.
Another ‘head scratching’ discovery is the 1260-ton foundation stones of the Baalbek temple, west of Beirut in Lebanon, one of which was left in its quarry.
Clearly history has its secrets, but there is enough evidence to validate, as theory, that civilization is much older than we have previously believed. History, according to the ancient Egyptians themselves, confirms this.
According to the Papyrus of Turin, which is a complete list of kings up to the New Kingdom, before Menes (before 3000 BCE) the:
…venerables Shemsu-Hor, [reigned] 13,420 years Reigns up to Shemsu-Hor, 23,200 years 2
These two lines in the king’s list are explicit.
According to their documents, the total years of Egyptian history goes back 36,620 years. The argument that the years in the king’s list do not represent actual years, but some other, shorter, measurement of time seems more of an attempt to explain away than to explain.
The ancient Egyptians employed a sophisticated calendar system that involved a 365-day year, which was periodically corrected through the predictable and cyclical nature of the star Sirius.
Every 1,461 years, the heliacal rising of Sirius marked the beginning of the new year. A single Sirius cycle corresponds to 1,461 years, where each year is equivalent to 365.25 days. In essence, the marking of the New Year at the heliacal rising of Sirius was the ancient Egyptian’s ‘leap year.’
Of course, determining the length of Sirius’ cyclical nature requires stellar observation over thousands of years which means the origins of pharaonic Egypt, or its source of knowledge, must originate in the remote past.
Late twentieth century Egyptologist Walter Emery seems to have agreed in principle that the origins of ancient Egypt date well into prehistory.
Emery believed that ancient Egypt’s written language was beyond the use of pictorial symbols, even during the earliest dynasties, and that signs were also used to represent sounds, along with a numerical system. When hieroglyphics had been stylized and used in architecture, a cursive script was already in common use.
His conclusion was that:
All this shows that the written language must have had a considerable period of development behind it, of which no trace has as yet been found in Egypt.3
Ancient Egyptian religion also testifies to a considerable period of development.
Their religion, which is more of a philosophy of nature and life than it is a ‘religion,’ is based on a level of sophistication that, in all respects, appears more scientific than it does mythical.
Symbolism and Nature - The Method of Egyptian Thought From a modern Western perspective their religion has been billed as primitive and polytheistic, and appears as a mythological menagerie of gods.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The source of this misunderstanding stems from the Egyptian word 'neter' (neteru) being translated into Greek as ‘god,’ which later took on the Westernized meaning of deity.
The true meaning of neter was to describe an aspect of deity, not a deity to be worshipped. In essence, neters referred to principles of nature in a practical scientific way.
Yet, the meaning of a specific neter was communicated in a visually symbolic manner. When a human was depicted with an animal head, this signified the principle as it occurs in man. If the whole animal was depicted it was a reference to a principle in general.
Alternatively, a human head depicted on an animal represented that principle as it relates to the divine essence within mankind, not any person in particular, but the archetypal; as the immortal Ba is represented by a human-faced bird.
Another example is Anubis (the jackal), who presided over the process of mummification.
He did so as a representation of the decomposition or fermentation process. In nature, the jackal keeps its prey and allows it to decompose before consumption. Therefore, he who presided over the mummification ritual was depicted in art as a man with the head of the jackal, thereby representing man’s death as the digestive principle found in nature.
From a universal perspective, the decomposition of a body is, to Nature, digestion.
Hence, those organs associated with digestion, after being removed from the deceased, were placed in a Canopic jar with a lid shaped in the image of the jackal’s head.
Before the Pharaohs The 'sudden emergence' of Dynastic Egypt, at the beginning of the third millennium BCE, is one of civilization's greatest mysteries.
How did this supposedly primitive North African culture organize itself into a civilization of such magnificence? One aspect that I believe has been overlooked is that mankind - anatomically modern humans - has been around for a very long time.
According to recent genetic studies, all people today are the descendents of a single African woman who walked the Earth 150,000 years ago. According to geneticists, her mitochondrial DNA exists in all of us.
This is a long time, 147,000 years, for our ancestors to have remained in a relatively primitive state. In my opinion, the evidence, some of which is incredibly anomalous (in particular the Great Pyramid) suggests they did not remain primitive.
Given the evidence of ancient Egypt’s technical abilities (their monument, temples, and other crafted artifacts still exist), as well as their sophisticated symbolism in describing Nature, it appears that in establishing a dynastic society, the Egyptians of the third millennium BCE benefited from a legacy of knowledge.
Skeptics of this approach to history, of course, would want to know where the evidence of this technical and prehistoric civilization is.
If such a civilization existed, surely there would be overwhelming evidence to support its existence. If an exclusively uniformitarian approach to geologic formation were generally accepted as fact, I would agree with the skeptic.
However, mass extinctions, as a result of environmental catastrophism because of volcanism, asteroid or comet impact, or stellar (gamma) radiation, now seems to be a reality.
According to geologists there have been five large mass extinctions in Earth’s history:
Ordovician (440-450 mya) Devonian (408-360 mya) Permian (286-248 mya) Triassic (251-252 mya) Cretaceous (144-65 mya)
Although all of these cataclysms occurred well before the modern human form, there are two global disasters that occurred relatively recently.
Approximately 71,000 years ago Mount Toba, in Sumatra, erupted spewing an enormous amount of ash into the atmosphere. It was the largest volcanic eruption in the last two million years, nearly 10,000 times larger than the Mount St. Helen’s explosion in 1980.
The resultant caldera formed a lake 100 kilometers long by 60 kilometers wide, with devastating and lasting climatic consequences. A six-year long volcanic winter followed, and in its wake an ice age that lasted for a thousand years. With its sulfuric haze, the volcanic winter lowered global temperatures, creating drought and famine decimating the human population.
According to geneticist’s estimates, the population was reduced to somewhere between 15,000 and 40,000 individuals. Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Utah, Lynn Jorde, believes it may have been as low as 5,000.4
Even closer to our time is the mysterious cataclysm at the end of the Ice Age, only 10,000 years ago. No one really knows if it was the result of natural phenomenon or an asteroid impact. What is known is that the climate drastically altered life for those who lived at that time.
It is a known geologic fact that at the end of the Ice Age many North American species became extinct, including the mammoth, camel, horse, ground sloth, peccaries (pig-like hoofed mammals), antelope, American elephant, rhinoceros, giant armadillo, tapirs, saber-toothed tigers and giant bison. It also affected the climates of lower latitudes in Central and South America, as well as Europe in a similar way.
Those lands have also revealed evidence of mass extinction. Yet, the mechanism that brought on this Ice Age ending cataclysm remains a mystery.
If an ancient technical civilization existed during the remote past, what would be the likelihood of that civilization surviving a global catastrophe intact? Estimates from the Toba eruption are not encouraging. Neither are the scenarios that astronomers and climatologists build today for a theoretical asteroid impact.
According to the archeological evidence, anatomically modern man (Cro-Magnon) appeared in Western Europe 40,000 years ago.
Where they came from has been a long-standing mystery. The logical deduction is that they migrated from Africa. However, such a migration requires a host culture, of which there is no evidence.
Nevertheless, a likely location for this host culture would have been along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, which were likely a series of fresh water lakes during the remote past.
If ancient civilization existed in the region of the Mediterranean, it would not have survived the conflagration that turned those lakes into a salt-water sea.
If that were indeed the case, the remnants of those who lived on the perimeter of that civilization would appear to us, today, as anomalies such as the Giza pyramids and the giant stones of Baalbek.
Cro-Magnon cultures of Western Europe, although once a part of a great Mediterranean civilization, would also appear as an anomaly.
For us, it would be as if they appeared from nowhere.

Footnotes
  1. Samuel A. B. Mercer, 'The Pyramid Texts', 1952, p.2.
  2. René Schwaller de Lubicz, 'Sacred Science: The King of Pharaonic Theocracy', 1982, p.86.
  3. Walter B. Emery, 'Archaic Egypt', 1961, p.192.
  4. ‘Supervolcanoes’, BBC2, 3 February 2000, also see www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/1999/supervolcanoes_script.shtml
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2020.02.07 13:45 zethz360 Did the world reset?

Hi this is your theory crafter zethz,
Im here to tell you guys about a theory of mine named "Did the world reset"
Its started when me and my friends are talking about bits and pieces we saw online.
Just like the Noah's ark story from the bible
It started like this I saw a strange article about a small clay doll found while drilling
Heres a part of the article
The July 1889 find in Nampa, Idaho, of a small human figure during a well-drilling operation caused intense scientific interest last century. Unmistakably made by human hands, it was found at a depth (320’) which would appear to place its age far before the expected arrival of man in this part of the world, according to accepted evolutionary dating techniques. Although all but forgotten by the general scientific community, the evidence, when viewed without evolutionary bias, still sounds convincing over a century after its discovery.
Another piece is the london hammer, Which found a hammer stuck on a rock with the wooden handle going tru a coaling state
Here's the article
In June 1936 (or 1934 according to some accounts), Max Hahn and his wife Emma were on a walk when they noticed a rock with wood protruding from its core. They decided to take the oddity home and later cracked it open with a hammer and a chisel. Ironically, what they found within seemed to be an archaic hammer of sorts. They turned it to a team of archaeologists who checked it, and as it turns out, the rock encasing the hammer was dated to the Ordovician – more than 400 million years ago!
This is really weird right? how did humans have this kind of technology 400 million years ago
This made a spark on my head what if the world reset?
What if we are the future and the higher beings "Gods" or something else doesnt want us to transcend to a higher knowledge and thus fort resets us if we go about it to much that made me realize that did the world at some point rebooted its self.
Just like the story of The Tower of Babel
Here's the narrative from Geneses 11:1-9
1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
Thus reseting the world to its most basic state
What do you guys think? is it a possible thing?
Please like this video and comment if you want more about this I have researched a ton of this and want to find out more.
submitted by zethz360 to conspiracy [link] [comments]


2020.02.07 13:44 zethz360 Did the world reset?

Hi this is your theory crafter zethz,
Im here to tell you guys about a theory of mine named "Did the world reset"
Its started when me and my friends are talking about bits and pieces we saw online.
Just like the Noah's ark story from the bible
It started like this I saw a strange article about a small clay doll found while drilling
Heres a part of the article
The July 1889 find in Nampa, Idaho, of a small human figure during a well-drilling operation caused intense scientific interest last century. Unmistakably made by human hands, it was found at a depth (320’) which would appear to place its age far before the expected arrival of man in this part of the world, according to accepted evolutionary dating techniques. Although all but forgotten by the general scientific community, the evidence, when viewed without evolutionary bias, still sounds convincing over a century after its discovery.
Another piece is the london hammer, Which found a hammer stuck on a rock with the wooden handle going tru a coaling state
Here's the article
In June 1936 (or 1934 according to some accounts), Max Hahn and his wife Emma were on a walk when they noticed a rock with wood protruding from its core. They decided to take the oddity home and later cracked it open with a hammer and a chisel. Ironically, what they found within seemed to be an archaic hammer of sorts. They turned it to a team of archaeologists who checked it, and as it turns out, the rock encasing the hammer was dated to the Ordovician – more than 400 million years ago!
This is really weird right? how did humans have this kind of technology 400 million years ago
This made a spark on my head what if the world reset?
What if we are the future and the higher beings "Gods" or something else doesnt want us to transcend to a higher knowledge and thus fort resets us if we go about it to much that made me realize that did the world at some point rebooted its self.
Just like the story of The Tower of Babel
Here's the narrative from Geneses 11:1-9
1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
Thus reseting the world to its most basic state
What do you guys think? is it a possible thing?
submitted by zethz360 to conspiracytheories [link] [comments]


2020.02.07 13:42 zethz360 Did The World Reset?

Hi this is your theory crafter zethz,
Im here to tell you guys about a theory of mine named "Did the world reset"
Its started when me and my friends are talking about bits and pieces we saw online.
Just like the Noah's ark story from the bible
It started like this I saw a strange article about a small clay doll found while drilling
Heres a part of the article
The July 1889 find in Nampa, Idaho, of a small human figure during a well-drilling operation caused intense scientific interest last century. Unmistakably made by human hands, it was found at a depth (320’) which would appear to place its age far before the expected arrival of man in this part of the world, according to accepted evolutionary dating techniques. Although all but forgotten by the general scientific community, the evidence, when viewed without evolutionary bias, still sounds convincing over a century after its discovery.
Another piece is the london hammer, Which found a hammer stuck on a rock with the wooden handle going tru a coaling state
Here's the article
In June 1936 (or 1934 according to some accounts), Max Hahn and his wife Emma were on a walk when they noticed a rock with wood protruding from its core. They decided to take the oddity home and later cracked it open with a hammer and a chisel. Ironically, what they found within seemed to be an archaic hammer of sorts. They turned it to a team of archaeologists who checked it, and as it turns out, the rock encasing the hammer was dated to the Ordovician – more than 400 million years ago!
This is really weird right? how did humans have this kind of technology 400 million years ago
This made a spark on my head what if the world reset?
What if we are the future and the higher beings "Gods" or something else doesnt want us to transcend to a higher knowledge and thus fort resets us if we go about it to much that made me realize that did the world at some point rebooted its self.
Just like the story of The Tower of Babel
Here's the narrative from Geneses 11:1-9
1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
Thus reseting the world to its most basic state
What do you guys think? is it a possible thing?
submitted by zethz360 to conspiracytheories [link] [comments]


2020.02.07 08:08 Rocknocker DEMOLITION DAYS, PART 90

Continuing
We had three groups of demo wire: mine adit, ANFO on the mine floor, and just because, some black powder placed into the old, but unused, drill holes in the mine face. The party room was going to be detonated remotely. We decided to blow the face first, then the ANFO, then the adit. After the applause died down, I’d trigger the party room. Then, the final drinking light for this mine site would be lit. Tomorrow, we pack up and travel south.
But first!
“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to your first abandoned mine demolition. This hole in the ground has become a menace, alas, through no fault of its own. But steps must be taken to remove it as a threat to society; to protect society from itself. I’ll let you cogitate over the irony of that statement at your leisure. Please, folks. This once was the provider of many a family’s daily bread, butter, and beer. A moment of silence. A moment of reverence. A moment of reflection. This is the place where you cut your subsurface teeth, where you lost your mining virginity, and now…we’re really gonna pop yer cherry!”
They laughed! They actually laughed loud and long. I was amazed. This was just my B-list material.
Dr. D and I alternated countdowns, Lucas was manning the detonators. Everybody, even the cooks, dish machine operators, and custodians joined in on the Safety Protocol song.
First went the face/black powder. A loud, rolling BOOM followed by the mine blowing a huge white smoke ring skyward. Not bad for a first shot.
Then the ANFO. Lucas needed to use the recently acquired replacement for Ol’ Reliable, my personal plunger-actuated blasting machine, as we needed the voltage and amperage. The ANFO shook everyone in camp, even set those in suspended hammocks rocking.
“We’re over a half-mile from the mine and you can actually here see the effects of low-explosives.”, I said, regarding the swinging hammocks. “Did the Earth move for you, too?”
Even that got a laugh.
Next came the mine adit itself. The sharp cracks of the dynamite were so distinctly different than the rolling thrump of the ANFO. People were getting a good physical demonstration of the differences in different types of explosives.
Everyone was about to clap, hoot, or holler, and head for the bar or leave when I shouted them down.
“What are you doing? Where are you going? We’re not done here yet, folks. We have a little bonus. Relax, sit back, and enjoy the death of the cess-pit. The end of the fetid party room. The cessation of the sewer some people around here went to have fun. Want fun? What could possibly be more fun than over 100 pounds of Torpex, PETN, RDX, Dynamite and Kinestik binary high explosives…and a remote detonator?”
All eyes one me grew three sizes that day.
“And I’m prepared to offer the honor of pressing the big, shiny red button to…the highest bidder!”
Consternation and grumbling.
“Actually, I kid. Before this, I had given a slip of paper to Dr. D. On that paper is a number, between 1 and 100. Here are some official guessing paper and pencils. The paper was recently outsourced from the DOI, so no fair trying to use any other. Now, write your guess down, a single number, between 1 and 100, one guess per participant. The closest gets the remote detonator and the honor of destroying the den of filth. In the case of prizes, duplicate ties will be awarded. You have 2 minutes before my number will be revealed. GO!”
Five minutes later, Dr. D announces the winner. There were no duplicates and my number was 86. Dr. I from Berkeley was the winner. She was a petite little hydrogeologist with a mean streak a mile wide. She grinned like a maniac when I handed her the remote detonator. She wanted to go immediately, but I restrained her for a 5 count.
“5...4…3…2…1…HIT IT!”
Whoa. Even though the mine was strictly closed, when that Torpex torpedo went off, the whole state probably felt it. It was very much like an earthquake. A very noisy, even that far underground in a closed-off mine, shatteringly brilliant earthquake.
Dr. I was ecstatic. “I did that?”
“Yes, you did. You’ll be receiving the bill in the mail.” I joshed.
It didn’t matter. Nothing could dampen the mood at that point.
Before lighting the drinking lamp, I recited a bit of doggerel for the crowd to close and commemorate our first victorious mine closing.
 “The Earth shakes, the ground cracks,
 And out steps fmax.
 Pleased as punch, fresh as a daisy,
 He watches while the world goes crazy.
 Strata shakes, structures tumble,
 Seismographs jump, formations crumble.
 When he’s finished, spent with sin,
 He returns as fmin.”
(fmax refers to the high-frequency band-limitation of the radiated field of earthquakes.)
It’s a geology thing…
They seemed to appreciate the effort. They loved that immediately afterward I lit the evening drinking lamp.
Dr. D, Lucas, and my own self had our cigars, drink, and maps. We were looking for our next contestant. Given the reaction of the crowd, I figured they’d be ready for something a little more ‘aggressive’. We had 11 days left, so it couldn’t be too far afield, as I didn’t want to waste time in transit, but here in Nevada, that wasn’t going to present a problem.
Lucas pointed out the Gobbler’s Knob mining area. It was studded with mines marked with the red ‘X’ of the Bureau indicating these mines had been vetted for critter populations and were slated for demolition, and there was quite the assortment. Sure, it was a good three and a half hours distant as a direct shot, or a full day for this crowd. However, we could just camp there for the last part of the trip; it would make a fine base camp. There were more than enough mines, in close proximity, of all types.
So, it was decided and announced. We’d all rendezvous at the titular Gobbler’s Knob gold mine area. I’d scout the area with Lucas and Dr. D, who would follow in his field car. We’d find a place to set up base camp. Sure, it was a diversion from the planned itinerary of the project, but that was at my discretion anyways. Given the shakedown at the Sharp Curve mine, we figure the less over-the-road travel for this crowd, the better.
I chatted with the concessionaires and explained our new plans. They were relieved, as once settled, they wouldn’t have to tear down and set up again every few days. We would be relatively closer to some larger cities, so they could assure us to continue the high quality of food and drink.
So, we were set. Lucas asked to ride with me and since he didn’t mind my cigars, so long as I shared. So Dr. D, in his rental field vehicle, and Lucas and I in the Hummer, hit the trail first. We’d be there in three or so hours. Real geologists don’t get lost out in the field, they just become slightly temporarily dislocated.
Not to waste any time, I had Lucas get on the radio and relate our plans to the Bureau. After this, he called the Nevada State Troopers and let them know what we were up to as well; just in case, as insurance. He called the local police in the town of Goonhaven, NV to warn them that we were on the way. They were most appreciative. They liked geologists and miners. They even gave us the address and phone number of the town’s single liquor store.
We had a radiotelephone lash up through the Bureau HF radio, so I had Lucas call the Boozerama and advise them we’ll need a lot of clear ice for the catering guys. Plus they might just want to go ahead and lay in a double, ok, triple supply of beer as there’s a gaggle of thirsty pseudogeologists on the way that are going to hang around for a week or more.
I asked them if they had any Russian Imperial Export vodka. They said they had some, but a good variety and supply of other brands. I thanked them and warned them again, that the geologists were coming. I also requested that they source some Bitter Lemon and a few cases of assorted Nehi flavors. They said they would try.
Always nice to phone ahead and give ample warning. Elicits discounts.
Lucas was a natural as a navigator.
“OK, Rock. Stay on the goat path until you hit Big Barn rock. Take a left and head up to Copperhead Canyon. Once past the canyon, go right on past Nellie’s Nipple and follow the arroyo. Once you pass Sniggler’s Gulch, hang a right and another right and we’ll be on the road to Gobbler’s Knob.”
I lowered my polychromic safety squints in place and said: “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads”.
I dropped the Hummer into low, stomped the gas, and leaped out across the desert; the trailer with nearly a ton of high explosives bouncing jauntily behind us.
Lucas started to protest, thought better of it, got us both a cold drink out of the back seat, just sat, white-knuckled it as he watched the desert fly by.
We made great time as we averaged some 60 miles per hour over the flat, rocky desert.
Well, maybe not average, but we did hit 60 mph until Lucas got too alarmed and worried feverishly over the trailer full of boom that was fast on our tails.
We pulled into the ghost town of the main Gobbler’s Knob camp. It was a large, open area up in the mountains. We got out and began our photoreconnaissance.
There was a lot of antique mining equipment and paraphernalia up here. Looks like we were either too high up in the middle of nowhere or perhaps the locals didn’t care enough to brave the route up to the camp area. It was as close to pristine as one could get in the region. It really looked like with a little spit and polish, one could fire up the mines once again.
The Gobbler’s Knob mining district covers an area of approximately 30 square miles in the Grunion Range in Nevada. Gold was discovered in the Gobbler’s Knob district in 1905, although quartz veins in the vicinity of the ‘Knob’ had been worked as early as 1866. The district immediately became one of the bigger "boom camps" of Nevada. The greatest production was reached in 1931, and since that time mining has declined until it was abandoned in the early 1940s. Placer gold, post-1945, from the deep gravels of the adjacent gulches have added to the total output. Total gold revenues from the area topped $550 million dollars.
The geology is extremely complex. The southern part of the district is underlain by closely folded Paleozoic rocks. These formations have been divided into five units, to four of which local names have been given. The oldest of these units, probably of Cambrian age, consists dominantly of siliceous mica-schist but contains beds and lenses of quartzite and dark sandstone and five beds of crystalline limestone. The total thickness exposed is estimated to be about 5,000 feet. Above this, and provisionally assigned to the Ordovician, is about 800 feet of chloritic schist, altered by thermal metamorphism to a "knotted" schist. This unit, in turn, is followed by 800 feet of gray limestone, partly altered to black jasper, which near the top grades into black slates. The lowest fossiliferous stratum is a thin bed of black slate' containing graptolites, which is separated from the underlying limestone by a thin layer of quartzite. The graptolites are of No-Kill-I (Ordovician) age. Above the graptolite bed is limestone similar in character to that below, followed by a great thickness of chloritic schist, with here and there thin beds of cherty slate and crystalline limestone. The total thickness of this group of beds probably exceeds 4,000 feet in the area mapped.
The Gobbler’s Knob mining district has produced an additional $350 million worth of copper, lead, silver, and rare earth elements. Productive rocks include the Pogostik Group, Euyankinme Quartzite, and Awfully Good Formation of Ordovician age, Lonesome Goose Dolomite of Silurian age, the Nowheyinhell Formation and Devil’s Dingus Limestone of Devonian age, and unnamed clastic units of Mississippian age, notably Bob’s Lime, the Coonskin Quartzite, and the Frammish metaconglomerates.
These rocks were folded into an overturned anticline and then broken by high-angle normal and reverse faults. Paleozoic rocks were intruded by a granitic stock having a rhyolite porphyry core and by rhyolite porphyry dikes. Primary pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena, and sphalerite and tetrahedrite in host rocks of marble and diopside and garnet skarn have been altered by weathering to oxide, carbonate, sulfate and silicate minerals. Some mineralized rock contains remarkably high concentrations of rare earth elements and beryllium.
We had carte blanche out here. We were the only bipedal mammals, as far as we could see, for hundreds, if not thousands, of square miles. Lucas tried to raise any local folks on the HF, VHF, ULF, and CB radios. Nothing. We were isolated, but we had our traveling funnel-cake trailers bringing up the rear. It was as nice a field area as one could ask.
Lucas and I scouted the area looking for an area to erect Camp Central. I had almost decided in occupying one of the larger old miner’s shacks. That is until Lucas pointed out the local indigenous population of packrats, coyotes, possums, and probably fleas, ticks, mites, no-see-um’s, and snakes.
“Good idea, Lucas”, I replied after reflection, “Let’s find us a new spot to camp out.”
Dr. D can slaloming into the ‘Knob in a flurry of dust and flying alluvium.
“Sorry I’m late, Guys, “he apologized, “But I found an outcrop of jaspalite out in the desert. I just had to stop and take samples.”
He showed us the jaspalized lahar, or quartzified ancient volcanic mudflow, samples. They were a riot of colors. Blood red jasper, green jadeite, yellow topaz, bluish-quartz knots, and purplish purpurite, a purply-purple mineral species.
It was very purple.
Esme would have loved some samples to play with if all her lapidary equipment wasn’t already in storage.
Dr. D got out the Gobbler’s Knob topographic map and stood on the roof of his rental, another reason rental car companies hate geologists, peering through his binoculars.
Lucas and I were exploring around the old campsite when Dr. D called us over.
A short distance away, there was a prominent wavy outcrop of thickly bedded sandstone. It has some nice re-entrants, like little rocky bays in an ancient geological harbor. This was fairly close to the flat highlands of the main camp but would be a prime dwelling for trailers, with some degree of privacy and the off-site storage of nearly a ton of high explosives.
In front of the outcrop, was a flat, wind-swept sandy blowout area that would be prime for the catering trailers.
If we parked the Porta Johns behind the outcrop, they’d still be close enough to be of facility. But they’d be distant enough that we wouldn’t be gassed in our sleep if the winds shifted during the night.
Plenty of parking off-site a piece once the trailers were set. The general area showed no signs of being anything of a hydrological nature, so it didn’t act as a wadi boundary, nor were we camping in a dry wash. We should be protected from the worst of the winds and rain if the inevitable summer high-desert thunderstorm rolled through.
“Boom!”, I said, “Gentlemen, we have a camp! First come, first served. Let’s go claim our spots.”
We all smiled, piled into our respective vehicles and drove the 350 meters or so over a small rise to our new home for the next week plus.
I found a very secure dead-end slot-canyon for the trailer. I backed it in, disconnected it from the Hummer, and secured it to some rock bolts Lucas and I pounded into the very living rock walls of the canyon.
Lucas and I chose the next re-entrant to the left. It was one of the larger ones, plenty of space to park the Hummer and for Lucas and my tents. Dr. D selected the one immediately to the right of Trailer Canyon. His rental fit in parallel to the rock face, and he pitched his tent between the rock wall and his vehicle. He had a flat area to pitch his tent, drag out his work table, and sling his hammock between the car and the outcrop. He’d be protected from the wind and rain, and any onslaught other than directly vertical.
Clever dude.
He even erected a sun-shade he devised from a thick sheet of tarpaulin and some support pipes he scrounged from the surrounding area. We helped him fabricate this bit of brilliance with guy lines attached to rock bolts we pounded into the outcrop and extra tent pegs anchored deep into the desert floor.
Very clever. He was secure as houses now.
We were set and ready to go. All we needed now was the rest of the retinue to arrive.
Lucas went walkabout once we had dragged out my worktable and one of the coolers I carried. I was working away on my field notebooks when Lucas ran up with a 2x2 foot square sheet of what appeared to be weathered white Masonite.
“What you got there, Luc?”, Dr. D asked.
“There’s tons of this shit lying around”, Lucas explained, “All the same size and thickness. I figure we’re going to be here a while, so we gather some posts, and we have a supply of ready-made signs for the crowd when they arrive.”
So, Lucas, Dr. D and I spend the next couple of hours devising road signs for the new arrivals.
“Slot 1 =>. Slot 2 =>.” And so one for the basic trailer parking/tenting slots.
“Food =>”, which needed to wait until the caterers' arrival.
“Shitters =>”, again, had to wait until the Porta-San farm arrived.
And so on and so forth.
All in bright day-glow orange.
Lucas and I did a rattlesnake sweep through the entire camp area and found not even a shed skin. We did find a slot canyon cut clear through the outcrop that would provide great access to the Porta Johns behind the outcrop. It was like this place was designed for us.
The food trailers and Porta Sans arrived at virtually the same time. We directed each to the area we thought would be best for each. The Porta San driver agreed this was a good place for the loos, especially since they’d be out of the elements and still close enough to be a convenience.
The caterers hemmed and hawed a while, but over a cold beer or two, decided the areas we already designated would prove to be acceptable, with a few minor alterations. A little C-4 remade those minor alterations and relocated some errant boulders. Before you knew it, we were back in business.
We figured the day would be a wash as it would take these hydroheads most of the day to find their shoes, much less a distant campsite. So, Lucas and Dr. D went out in his vehicle and posted sings to help direct these hopeless folks to the campsite.
I stayed back at camp and pored over the maps, literature, and write-ups regarding the area and the mines it contained.
There were literally hundreds of mines out there. Some no more than small prospect drifts that chased a vein of precious metals until it petered out in a few hundred yards. Others were full-fledged scary-ass deep, hard rock mines with vertical transit shafts whose depths were measured in thousands of feet.
I discounted those the Bureau hadn’t vetted as to animal worthiness and those that were deemed animal sanctuaries. A quick count left me with 104 mines to choose from. Some I could close “Old School” with a bundle of dynamite and a quick tug on a set-pull-forget and toss fuse.
Others were so extensive, it would take me and a trained crew at least a week to explore, devise, set, prime, and charge the thing.
OK, I selected 10 easy mines for quick annihilation and set those aside as Class-1, the easiest bundle-of-boom, for later. Sort of a bonus as the project drew to a close.
I mean, who wouldn’t want to go all 1880s and pop the fuse on a bundle of stick dynamite then chuck them down a deep hole?
I know I would.
Then I chose five or six what I considered medium-class, or Class-2, mines. Multi-level, dry, no real obvious nasties like rotten cribbing, loose broke down piles of rock, talc…gad, talc… or noxious gasses. These went into pile number two.
Then I chose two that I considered Class-3 mines. Real bastards. Multi-level, flooded, raises, winzes, stopes, shifts, staves, shafts, tunnels, all sorts of fun shit. I decided that Dr. D, Lucas and I would discuss which of these we’d close. It was a point of vanity, I guess. I needed to nuke just one of these tricky fuckers to show the Bureau what they were going to be missing once I left. As well as prove what I can accomplish out in the field, even saddled with a passel of greenhorns.
With my field notebooks up to date, all my demolition paperwork in order, and piles of mine candidates to choose from, I declared the day a wash and lit the drinking light.
Dr. D looked at our supplies and declared it inadequate. Besides, we didn’t have any Bass Ale, his favorite tipple. He decides that he and Lucas would run into town, only about 75 miles distant, pick up the necessary supplies, and bet me a sawbuck he’d return before the first camper made camp-fall.
“You’re on!”, I said as I handed Lucas the cash for the wager. I also slipped him a few extra bucks if he found any good looking cigars, vodka, bourbon or beer we just couldn’t live without.
The concessions folks got wind of our plans and asked if one of their tribe could accompany Dr. D and Lucas to town with a couple of coolers for ice. They could make ice on-site, but it’d be hours before they had any in abundance. Dr. D had no problem with that as they could bungee the coolers down to the roof rack of the rental.
I asked Dr. D if this extra time to get ice would invalidate our wager.
In a flurry of dust and cigar smoke, he yelled out the window as he, Lucas and the food court guy hauled ass town ward: “No way! I’ll still beat them all back!”
I was essentially alone out in the wilds of Nevada’s high desert. Nothing much to do, I loafed around, wandered over to the boomtown remains and had a look round, and generally just mooched about waiting.
Back at Rock Central, as Dr. D had christened our campsite; as he had created, posted, and signed the signs to prove it, I was called over to one of the cook trailers. They had questions for me.
They wanted to know what the gunfire was all about the other day. They’d heard rumors of everything from armed insurgency to just some late-night target practice.
I regaled them of the story of the ‘Motorcycle Gang That Couldn’t Think Straight’ and they laughed and laughed. They were pleased to know they were well protected out here in the boonies.
After that, with nothing much else to do, I offered them all a beer or whatever else they could find in my depleted larders. They gratefully accepted and we sat around, just shootin’ the shit for a while.
Two or three beers in, one of the head chefs excused himself and returned a bit later with an unlabeled bottle of suspicious-looking clearish fluid.
“We keep some on hand for emergencies”, he told me, “But since they were working for the Bureau and had to conform to their rules, we were asked to run a dry camp.”
“Well,” I said, “As long as it’s kept under control, and as I’m the sole Bureau representative here; I don’t run a dry camp, so if it’s kept low-key, I don’t see a damned thing.”
After the whoops and hollers died down, I was presented an iced glass of very suspicious-looking homemade high-octane hooch. The head chef, who assured me he has CIA credentials, i.e., Culinary Institute of America, and knew how to run a still, promised me I’d find his latest creation most enjoyable. Or unusual, I forget which.
“Slurp!”
Jesus H. Tap Dancing Christ on A Soda Cracker! That stuff was smooth.
No, not smooth. What’s the opposite of smooth? Sandpapery? Abrasive? Crenulate? Squamulose? Rock ripping?
He smiled broadly as I choked down that slug. I gasped for breath. My eyes glazed over. My ears were on fire. My teeth vibrated. My nose ran off. My tongue was contemplating filing for divorce.
It was pure loathsomeness. It was fucking horrendous. I hated the fucking stuff.
“Care for another?” he asked.
“Oh yes, please,” I replied.
A while later I heard a car approaching. Given the speed at which it was traveling, I knew without looking who it was.
Yep, five minutes later Dr. D roared into camp, sliding backward to a stop only feet from the lead chow trailer in a cloud of Cretaceous floodplain dust.
“Did I win?” he asked, as he looked the camp over. Lucas and the cook assistant fumbled out of the car as best their rubbery legs would allow.
“Sure as hell.” I replied, “Lucas, please pay the man.”
We helped remove the coolers of the roof of Dr. D’s car. Each was filled with a single crystal-clear block of water ice. Seems this old town still had an ice house and it was simple as squash to take dimensions of the cooler, and chip a chunk of the correct size off the glacier they had in the storerooms. The cook crew were ecstatic.
Dr. D found his Bass Ale and bought the town dry. Lucas had purchased a supply of classic field camp beers: Lucky Lager, Henry Weinhard's, Hamms, Blatz, Falstaff, Walter’s Bock, Grain Belt, and Buckhorn. It was frosty, ice-cold nostalgia.
Plus, Lucas found a bottle of George Dickel, Rebel Yell, and Hoggs Bourbon for me. As well as liters of Monopolowa, Popov, Bowmans’s, Royal Gate, and Ruskaya Vodka. He also admitted to a bottle of Yukon Jack and Captain Morgan for himself since everyone else was getting what they wanted. Plus three cases of really weird flavored Nehi soda. No Bitter Lemon though…he was disconsolate. But still smiling like a loon.
Dr. D had also stopped and filled his trunk with firewood purchased from a farmer on the outskirts of town. We stacked that centrally next to where we’d construct the communal fire pit.
The high desert. Out in the middle of absolute nowhere. Camping. Few creature comforts. A serious geology job laid out in front of us, a couple already behind us. Campfires. Good friends. Good food. Good cigars. Cheap booze.
It really was like coming home again.
Finally, some hours later, just as the sun was getting ready to bounce off the western edge of the desert, the trailers and campers began to arrive. They all caravanned, en masse so they wouldn’t get lost. Their tarmacked travels took them through many tank towns, so they stopped along the way for beer, booze, and other things to make the camp run that much more smoothly.
One after another, the tenters and campers pulled in. Dr. D, Lucas and I decided we had done enough for one day, so we sat at Lucas’ and my campsite, stoked a smallish campfire and decided to sample the wares of Dr. D’s sojourn to the big city.
The trailers all parked, first come, first served. No arguments, no bitching, no sweat. The tenters consolidated the northern end of the camp area, the trailers, the south.
The chow triangle was rung and it was dinner time, all right on schedule.
Deep-fried cod and chips, mushy peas, Toad in the Hole, Yorkshire Pudding, and roast joints of beef rounded out the British-themed meal. There was Spotted Dick, Banoffee pie, and Syllabub for pudding.
You had to eat your meat or you couldn’t have any pudding.
Maybe the chef really was CIA.
After tea, and before the drinking light was lit, I called everyone for a quick meeting to explain what I had intended for the next 10 days. I explained how Class -1, -2, and -3 mines were defined. I noted that we would, at minimum, close at least one of each type in our time remaining. Everyone would be in on Class 1 & 2 mines, but I’d only ask for volunteers for the single Class-3 mine, due to its inherent complexity and danger.
I also noted that since this would be home for the next near score of days, that I have access to VHF, HF, UHF, ELF, SW, and CB radios, with a lash up for telecommunications with the Bureau HF radio, if there was an emergency. I also have a satellite phone if there were any particularly spectacular emergencies. It was available, but not for idle chit chat. Perhaps, later in the week, I noted, I could allow a 10-minute call home for everyone if there was nothing untoward that happened in the interim.
There were general shouts of approval on all points. I asked for questions, and there were none. Either I was that good at covering all the bases of these guys were really thirsty.
“Folks”, I said, “The drinking light is lit. Remember, we muster front and center tomorrow 0630. Please bear that in mind. Naz dirovya!
After a catered breakfast of breakfast pizza, breakfast burritos, and breakfast Egg WacMuffins, I had the whole crowd assembled, most all sipping coffee and a few lamenting some real humdinger headaches.
“OK, gang”, I began, “Class-2 mines today. Class-1 mines are super easy, barely an inconvenience. I’m retaining them as door prizes for the best mine demolishers nearer the end of the week. I won’t say much about these exit prizes, but suffice to say, think 1880s, and bundled sticks of dynamite.”
That got the crowd’s interest.
As usual, I broke the crowd up into groups. Dr. D, being near as up as me on mine construction and dangers, so kindly offered to take one group in the morning so I could handle the second group in the afternoon, or vice versa, just for flavor. After that, we’d compare notes, ask for volunteers, go back in and charge the mines. Then, we’d retire to a safe distance and blow the living shit out of them.
We’d alternate, and when I wasn’t in the mine, he’d radio back what he thought would be appropriate to nuke these mines out of existence. I’d begin work on building the demolition charges. After which, I’d store them, then I’d take a group on a walkthrough. We’d all get together, have a powwow, get people’s impressions and concerns of the mine and formulate a demolition procedure.
That way, in six days we blasted out of existence six Class-2 mines. We were humming along like a well-oiled machine. No bitching, no kvetching, just lots and lots of questions, good food, cheap booze, and cheaper beer with mines closing left and right.
Things were actually humming right along. Until the afternoon of day 8.
Clouds rolled in, covering the skies with their frothy white, billowy cloudiness.
I was looking up to the unfolding aerial montage when Lucas and Dr. D wandered over.
“You saw it as well.”, Dr. D noted., “Best get the word out, it’s going to be a real toad-floater.” He and Lucas were old-time field hands out in the desert. They knew what was coming.
I agreed, this had all the earmarks of a major-league desert thunderstorm. Heavy rain, wicked winds, thundering thunder, dismal darkness, all split by jagged lightning.
I called for an immediate camp meeting.
“Folks,” I said loudly, so the cook crew could hear as well, “Look due up. We’re in for a real humdinger of a summer thunderstorm. As soon as we’re finished here, get back to your camp. Secure everything not nailed down. Check guy ropes and make sure they’re doubled-down. If it’s loose, pack it, or nail it down tight. I don’t know how many of you have experienced Mother Nature at her nastiest out in the field, but make no mistake, she’s got stuff that makes my best explosives look like Tinker Toys. Get sorted and hunker down. There will be wind. There will be rain. There will be wind. They may be hail, so tenters, you might want to call in some favors with the folks who have trailers. Questions?”
There were none, but Dr. D added, “Rock ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie here, gang. It’s got all the earmarks of being a nasty bugger. Prepare to take cover and hunker down solid.”
They saw that when the two most senior field trippers said that this was to be a real event, it’s best to listen and ask questions later.
The camp scattered. Lucas and I flattened our tents, no need getting them ripped to shreds.
I made certain the explosives trailer was nailed down, locked, and well-grounded. What are the odds of a lightning strike? Don’t care. I made double-damn uber-certain.
Dr. D flattened his camp and said he’d ride it out in his rental. I offered him a spot in the Hummer, as it was big enough for us to sack out if the storm lingered.
He declined. He said he’d be fine in his rental.
The cook trailers were stowed and secured, and if the Port-a-San farm took a hit, there wasn’t much now we could do but hope otherwise.
Lucas, Dr. D and I sat out in out camp chairs, with fresh cigars and beers, savoring the ridiculously salubrious pre-storm ozonic fresh air, awaiting the inevitable atmospheric show. The clouds above roiled, rolled, and built to astonishing heights. They grew as dark and foreboding as a volcanic ashfall. Over more beer and cigars, and maybe a tot of bourbon, we watched and waited.
And waited.
“Was this going to be a false alarm?” I wondered.
KA-HOLY SHIT-BOOM! The thunder roared.
Nope. Not this time.
We all sat outside admiring the coming show. It was going to be fun, lots of lightning and peals of thunder. Torrential rains, for certain, with that exciting hint of hail that might come for a visit.
Over beers, we sat, watched, and pointed out some of the amazing structures in a building series of cranky cumulonimbus clouds.
“PLOP!” the first drops of rain appeared. The camp chairs went into the back of the Hummer. Dr. D departed to his sanctuary and Lucas and I sat in the truck, fiddling with the radios to see if we could get any info on the storm.
KRRAACK! Lightning buzzed with a vengeance.
We’re in the high desert out here. Some 9,000’ plus above sea level. Puts us that much closer to the storm.
KABOOM! Thunder rumbled.
“Odd”, I thought, “Not much rain or wind…”
The Hummer rocked like it took a hit from an RPG. The rain and wind I wondered about had arrived.
If you had anything not locked down outside, it was well on its way to California by now.
Rain pummeled. Winds howled. Lightning cracked. Thunder rumbled.
And it got very, very dark.
Dr. D did a great job of picking out our camp location. The rain puddled, ponded, then ran off to the west. The winds, for at least a small part, were funneled around the campsite rather than lay waste to it.
But that’s where all the good things ended.
The hail began. Pea-sized first. Then marble-sized. Then organic, free-range, farm-fresh, egg-sized. Finally, high-velocity ice golf balls. It made a hell of a racket on the reinforced roof of the Hummer. I didn’t even want to think what it was doing to thin-sheet aluminum topped trailers.
It grew in intensity. Winds whipped even stronger. Hail bounced merrily of the outcrops, cook trailer’s roofs and the very ground. In short order, it looked as if it had snowed. The entire campsite’s grounds were covered with whole inches of accumulation of hailstones.
Then, as quickly as it appeared, it was over. The sun cautiously peeked through the waning clouds and lit the devastated tableaux for all to see.
Lucas, Dr. D and I got out of our vehicles to survey the circumstances. We brushed the icy accumulations off our tents and raised them so they’d begin drying. There would have been nothing left if we hadn’t collapsed them first.
Slowly, the rest of the campers showed up. They milled around the snow-like accumulation and just goggled. Many had never seen, much less experienced, such climatic fury firsthand.
Of course, everyone had to pick up and examine the hailstones. Then it happened, one northern wag decided that since it looked like snow, it must act like snow. One West Coaster was the first casualty. He took a hailstone snowball to the back.
That’s all it took, a snowball fight broke out. It was hilarious, even though I was less than amused when I played innocent bystander and took a snowball hit directly to the cocktail in my hand, spilling my drink.
“Of course you realize.”, I mused, “This means war.”
Many campers learned that day, through hard experience, you never start a snowball fight with Baja Canada and Real Canada residents. The carnage was spectacular.
It was a late night before anyone hit the sack. They were having too much fun.
I finally picked the last mine of the tour, the Gobbler’s Knob #33 shaft.
I gave it several days because it was a motherfucker.
Fully 7 levels deep. A central shaft that was 33’ across the diagonal, hence the mine’s name.
The deepest record we had for the mine was the last work face in level 7 was at 2,729 feet below surface level, more than a half a mile in depth.
The last reports were that level 7 might have flooded. Looks like I’m going to need some severely hardy folks to accompany me on this initial trek.
After dinner that night, I called a camp meeting. I explained the need for the initial reconnaissance of this mine, and I was looking for volunteers. This was an entirely optional mine, although I’d like input at the nightly meetings. You don’t have to go, but it’d probably look real good on those final reports I have to write up for everyone.
Yeah, no pressure. No pressure at all.
Of course, Dr. D and Lucas volunteered immediately. Truth be told, if that’s all that wanted to go, it would have been fine with me.
However, Dr. I, the Ms. maniac torpedo detonator from earlier, Dr. F, and Dr. H and his associate made the move forward.
“OK,” I declared, “That’s seven. Just in case, do any of you have technical rope-climbing skills? That might come in handy on this recon trip.”
Dr. H decided that it might be a bit too strenuous for him, but asked if his associate, Gary the Grad Student could accompany us. This guy was supposedly half-gibbon, he was that good of a technical climber. I almost told him to get bent as I didn’t need anyone showing me up.
Of course, I relented. I noted that we’d all meet here, tomorrow, fully kitted out with all our gear, at 0600 for the initial assault. We’d take the Hummer as it had plenty of room. The mine adit itself was less than a mile distant, but we’d get so knackered walking that distance even in the early morning desert heat, that I insisted we drive, even if it took a couple of trips.
There was a pretty good Happy Hour that night, but not for six of the more intrepid adventurers. We held off until after our explorations were complete.
I had copies of the latest mine schematics and handed one out to everyone.
“Carry this with you and mark it as you go”, I said, “Find something not on the map, like an ore chute, drift, stope, raise, or winze, make a note. Also, keep tabs on where you are at all times.”
All agreed as this was serious nut cuttin’ time. This mine could be a real killer. I doubt it’s going to cut any of us any slack.
After checking and re-checking our gear, at the mine adit, we synchronized our watches and rechecked our coordinates. Our ELF radios would work underground as would the mine GPS we had along.
To be continued.
submitted by Rocknocker to Rocknocker [link] [comments]


2020.01.30 07:36 Rocknocker DEMOLITION DAYS, PART 81

Continuing
Chuck and Al looked ready to go.
“Who wants to go first?” I ask.
“How do I light the damn thing?” Al asks.
“Got one of my cigars?” I replied.
Al went first, giddy as a schoolboy. We had already ascertained that there was no one in the area, so we did the run through the safety protocol only once.
Al lit his stick and lobbed it in.
He hauled ass back to our safety muster point.
I puffed on my cigar. And puffed a smidgen pointedly.
“Al, we have 5 minutes, you know,” I said. “No need to run, remember?”
“Oh, I know, I know,” Al replied breathlessly, “But this is a first for me. Forget walking, I ran like a goddamned bastard, pardon my French.”
I just shook my head and smiled. He’d do fine next time.
We’d feel tremors in mere minutes.
KABLAM!
The dynamite detonated. We waited a few minutes before we checked out our handiwork.
“OK, better. Going to need a few more.” I said, “Chuck, save us some time, let’s do two at once, OK?”
“Gotcha, Doc,” he said. He wandered over to the shaft and twisted the fuses together. He lit them up and tossed them into the waiting maw of the shaft.
He cautiously walked back, just like I had said.
KABLAM-BLAM!
Both sticks went off within seconds of the other. Similar results, though.
We were getting there, closer, but no cigar as it were.
“OK,” I said, “My turn.”
I took one stick, lit it and tossed it right under the old headframe. There was a lot of loose rubble there. I hoped to move enough, but leave a sufficient quantity to support the old structure.
KERBLAMMO!
The stick went off and started a minor avalanche. It was a tense few moments, but the old headframe stood firm.
“Damn. So close,” I said after examining the hole.
“Doc, how about this?” Al asked, “Chuck and I punch these sticks into the soil below the top of the crater. Confining the blast, as you well know, will focus more energy. More energy, more alluvium moved, more hole filled.”
“Make it so, gentlemen,” I said.
Chuck and Al cautiously placed the charges, gave each other the high sign before lighting their sticks, and cautiously got back out of the crater and walked back to our muster area.
Five minutes later, showers of earth erupted from opposite sides of the crater. Mini-avalanches of loose alluvium poured down. The main shaft was well and truly finally sealed.
“Gentlemen! Success! Couldn’t be better! I congratulate you on a job well done.” I said.
High fives all around we checked over our handicraft once again, found it good, and retired back to camp.
With that final mine, the first part of the field season was over. Now, all we had to do was return to Reno and after resupplying and recommissioning, start the fuck all over again.
The party around the campfire that night was especially festive.
After a quick breakfast of French toast, Greek blintzes, and Danish pastries, with Colombian coffee, we broke camp for the final time this season. We were tired, filthy, and had accomplished near 200% of our stated objectives.
It was a good time to be out in the field.
Besides, my trailer was damn near empty. We had to get back to ‘civilization’ and restock our weapons of mass destruction.
“See y’all in Reno!” I said, as I dropped my truck into first gear and spun out onto the intershire turnpath we had recently blazed.
They passed me a mile or so after we hit the tarmac. We’d met soon at the Bureau parking lot soon enough in Reno.
Later, we’re all in Dr. Sam Muleshoe’s office, puffing away on my cigars.
A care package had arrived from Esme during our field time.
In it were a shopping list, four boxes of cigars, a tin of her famous rum balls, and a personal note.
I stashed the note and shopping list in my grubby field vest and helped myself to another dram or six of Dr. Muleshoe’s private top-shelf bourbon stock.
Everyone was scarfing up Esme’s cookies like they were manna from heaven.
They were ambrosial.
I had already spoken with Sam previously. He had plowed the field and straightened the path forward for Chuck and Al to stay on another month. He even wrangled us all a raise, and not inconsiderable bonus, based on our recent past accomplishments.
Leonard hadn’t shown yet. But, we needed some downtime to restock and resupply. He’d be here directly, so Sam told us that we all have room reservations for a night or two at a local motel, courtesy of the Bureau.
He also told us to avail ourselves of the motel’s room service, which was served by most of the finer restaurants in town.
Chuck and Al were already arguing over their pizza toppings.
He also told us to get some rest, finish up our first season field reports, do some laundry, and please, take a fucking shower.
“You characters smell of cordite and way too much excitement.” He laughed.
The motel would handle our laundry requirements, as we decided to drink up Sam’s private stock and sashay on over to the motel.
He also told us to leave our vehicles, keys, and other necessary equipment. He told us that he’d lock our sidearms in his office safe as that way they’d be secure, we wouldn’t scare the locals, and he didn’t feel like he was having a parlay with a band of armed pirates.
I asked him to send someone over to the local gun shop and pick us up a few boxes of .454 and 10mm loads. We had no wheels, so someone else could stickhandle that little requirement.
He agreed and told us the best liquor store in town was just three doors down from the motel.
“But Dr. Rock here already knew that, didn’t you?” Sam chuckled.
I could neither confirm nor deny that I was, in fact, cognizant of that little detail.
The Bureau had my explosives shopping list. Sam was a little taken aback, but when he saw the inch-thick pile of federally mandated paperwork I had amassed regarding the explosives on our first field tour, he said nothing more, other than noting that what I asked for would be arranged.
“Oh, and a box or two of millisecond-delay caps,” I said, “Forgot those last time.”
He also told us he’d have the Bureau’s mechanics give our vehicles the once over. After a hard month off-road, they’d check every nut, bolt, and screw. I was terribly relieved as I was almost out of blinker light fluid.
He also said they go over all our mine-entry gear. Check and if needed, replace the batteries, supplant any consumables, check our climbing gear to make certain it was in apple-pie order.
“Don’t forget, we’ll need an entire extra set for Leonard if he ever gets here. “ I reminded him.
“Already in the works,” Sam assured me.
“Well then,” I said, standing up, “Gentlemen, the laundry, lunch, ablution, and drinking lights are all lit.”
We all shook hands with a head-shaking Sam.
“Field geologists. Gad.” He exclaimed as we egressed his office.
The motel was small, tidy, and very comfortable. It had laundry facilities which we overwhelmed almost immediately. They had to farm out part of the job to get it back to us in time.
Chuck and Al ordered their pizzas and I fired up a heater, grabbed the phone, and called Esme.
Esme was very glad to hear from me. Everything back home was just hunky-dory, but the guys over in the Middle East were champing at the bit for my acceptance of their offer and our timetable.
“Jack my offer by 20%, and tell them I’ll decide when and if we’ll come over,” I told Es, “Let them chew on that for a while.”
“OK, Rock,” she agreed, “But that’ll only keep them busy for a month at most.”
“I know,” I replied, “But I’ll be back home soon after that. Then we can sit down and hash all this out.”
“OK, will do, Hon,” she said.
We talked for over an hour. Khris was in her first dressage competition right after I return and Tash was doing great in her new school. Lady was all pouty as I wasn’t around to take her walkies every night and the cat was still stupid.
So, the situation was normal. We chatted some more and after our usual parting smooches, we disconnected.
Chuck and Al had their own rooms, so the smell of fresh pizza was intoxicating. I still had to make some calls before I could think about dinner.
I talked with Dr. Harry in Albuquerque. Evidently news travels fast. He’s already heard glowing reports on us from the Reno bureau.
I called Rack and Ruin. They already had our reports from Reno and Albuquerque.
Why do I even bother updating these guys?
A few personal calls later, I decided that Chinese food was just what the doctor ordered.
And he did.
After delivery, I shuffled down to the liquor store, now flush with new Bureau greenery, and bought a few or nine fine bottles of Kentucky Sour Mash, a couple of cases of Russian Import vodka, six cases of beer, and a few surprises for later. They had no Nehi, the slackers, so I settled on some generic, and cheap, oddly flavored sodas; just a couple of cases.
They would deliver it all, except for the extra bottle of vodka I was taking with me, to the Bureau tomorrow if I desired.
“Nah. I’ll drop by before we leave,” I told them. That might be pushing it, I thought.
I wandered back to my room and poured myself a large dram or dozen over ice. Feet up, I lit a cigar, and just zoned out the window for a while.
A short while, it turned out.
There was a knock on the door. I answered it. It was Al and Chuck.
They both sported a month’s growth of razor-cut beards and mustaches, ghastly Hawaiian shirts, cargo shorts, tall woolen socks, and field boots.
“It’s what the well-dressed manic is wearing in the field these days,” they laughed.
Shaking my head, I told them to get in here before the guys with the butterfly nets saw them.
The brought me some leftover pizza, but after seeing I still had some leftover Chinese chow, they made it disappear themselves.
“Well,” I rejoined, “Looks like the Rover Boys are ready for another field season.”
“Ready to ride the range, once again, with the infamous Doctor Rock!,” Chuck laughed and snagged one of my Esme-sent cigars.
“My, oh my,” he said, giving it a sniff, “These are really nice.”
“Don’t get used to it” I said.
They both laughed at the absurdity of that statement.
“Where the hell’s your pipe?”
“What pipe?” he innocently asked.
Oh, bother.
I pour another tall tot and told the guys that this was serious time.
“Yes, Doc?” they asked.
“This new guy. Leonard.” I said, “Colorado School of Mines. I’ve read his transcripts and CV. Good, but not great. Not too many diverse electives; looks like he likes to play it safe.”
“Holy fuck,” Al laughed, “Is he coming to the wrong place…”
“My thoughts exactly,” I concurred. “I need you guys to help me out here. You two nutburgers were bad enough, but you’re at least real geologists. This guy’s a bloody engineer. You know how engineers and geologists get along.”
“Like you at an AA meeting,” Chuck laughs.
“Oh? What’s that you’re leaning on?,” I say, pointing to his glass full of my ice and spirits.
“OK, OK. Like you at an Earth! First meeting,” he corrects himself.
“Much better,” I concurred, and raise my glass in the time-honored Midwestern salute.
“So,” I continued, “I want you to run interference. I’m not judging this guy out of camp or sight unseen, but help him out. Show him the ropes. I can scarcely hope a mere engineer can pick up on things as readily as you two real geologists. We green?”
“Green as new-mown grass, Doc.” They reply.
“Thanks,” I say, “I knew I could depend on you two. Now, BE GONE! I need my ablutions and some kip. I suggest you two do likewise.”
“We already showered,” Al said, “But you’re nose-blind. You do really need a shower.”
“Nope,” I said, “A cigar, a tall drink, a good mining magazine, and a tub full of bubbles. It’s the little things in life, you’ll come to realize…”
I shoo them out into the night. I draw the curtain, remembering Myanmar, get au naturel, draw a tub, and float away in a sea of foam.
The next day, we’re all in Dr. Sam Muleshoe’s office. I’m sitting there with my feet up on his desk and everyone’s smoking one of my cigars. According to Sam, the new guy, Leonard, will arrive precisely at 0900.
He had 5 minutes.
Spot on 0900, Leonard arrives.
“Good morning,” he says, “I was told this was Dr. Muleshoe’s office. I’m supposed to meet my field crew here.”
My field crew?” I thought.
Sam puts down his cigar as Leonard makes silly little fake coughing noises. Sam rises and greets Leonard.
“Welcome to Reno, Mr. Paskapää. I’m Dr. Sam Muleshoe. This is my shop.”
Leonard extends a hand cautiously and he and Sam shake, shakily.
Doctor Muleshoe,” Leonard intones and nods.
Sam continues the introductions.
“This stalwart chap is Albert W. Armstrong, of Rolla. He’s a mining geologist.”
Al gets up to shake Leonard’s hand.
“Call me Al,” he says, brightly.
“Hello, Albert.,” Leonard says glacially.
“This one here is Charles F. Glaciisto out of New Mexico. Also a mining geologist.”
“Please to meet you. Call me Chuck,” Chuck says.
“Pleased to meet you, Charles,” Leonard replies coldly.
“And this over here is the redoubtable Doctor Rocknocker; the hookin’ bull, the leader of the pack, as it were.,” Sam says enthusiastically, “Rock, get off your duff and greet your new field associate.”
I have been listening intently and didn’t much care for what I have heard so far from our newest field partner.
I shove my cigar between my teeth, stand up, looming over our newest addition. I adjust my Stetson and just stand there for a moment, giving him the once over.
I stick out my hand and say: “I’m Dr. Rocknocker. Like Sam here says, I’m the hookin’ bull around here. I’ll be your boss out in the field. Listen closely to me and you might get out of this alive. Call me ‘Rock’”.
Doctor Rocknocker,” Leonard replies glacially.
“Oh, yeah. This one’s going to fit in just fine,” I muse.
Sam’s secretary enters and asks if we’d like coffee or perhaps a doughnut. Leonard has to leave us for a while so he can fill out all his insurance and next of kin forms.
I have a feeling he might need it before the season is over.
“Sam…” I start off.
“Now, Rock, before you get your panties in a bunch,” Sam explains, “Leonard comes highly recommended. Dr. Abstoßen, his major professor at Mines couldn’t praise him enough. He really worked hard to get him this appointment.”
“Probably just to get rid of him for a while,” I reply, “Fer fuck’s sake, Sam. The guy’s wearing a fucking three-piece suit and leather Oxfords.”
“Never judge a book by its cover,” Sam remonstrates.
“He’d be a comic book,” I replied. “Chuck and Al. Oh, excuse moi, Charles and Albert here would be Compton’s Field Guide to Geology.”
Chuck and Al tried to stifle a chuckle, failing miserably.
“OK,” Sam says, “Point taken. But it’s just too late to do anything about it now. “
“Is it?” I ask, scowling. “I’ve already got two proven field hands right here in this very office.”
“Now, Rock,” Sam says, “Be fair. C’mon, give the guy a chance.”
“He probably doesn’t drink or smoke either,” I grouse, “Probably has a monogrammed silk goose-down sleeping bag and embroidered pillows.”
“Rock…,” Sam entreats, “Give him a chance. He doesn’t work out, OK, ship his happy ass back home.”
“Oh, I will, you can be assured of that,” I reply, “I only hope in one piece. We’re field geologists traveling the countryside blowing shit up. Not a good place to make stupid mistakes because you’re too good or high falutin’ to listen.”
“Rock,” Sam huffs, “Remember back a month and two characters who shall remain nameless?”
Al turns to Chuck, “Pleased to meet you. I’m Al Nameless.”
“Ditto” Chuck replies, “Chuck Nameless. Hey! We might be cousins.”
They laughed at their humor. San and I just winced and shook our heads.
Children.
“OK, Sam,” I consent, and point down to him, “He’ll get exactly the same chance I gave Charles and Albert here. We green?”
“Yes, Doctor,” Sam agrees, “We’re totally green. Green as a gaslight.”
“Guys,” I say, “Let’s go. Before I change my mind.”
“Rock?” Sam calls.
“Yeah?” I snap back.
“Want your sidearms?” he asks, smirking.
“Yeah,” I reply, “They might prove useful. OK, Sam, I’ll make nice. But he’s on thin ice already. He wants to play lumberjack, let’s see how he handles his end of the log.”
“All I can ask,” Sam says as he hands us back our firearms.
We all go out to the rear of the Bureau. There’s my truck. Holy wow. They even washed it.
Chuck and Al’s Land Cruiser is all saddled and bridled as well.
I instruct Chuck and Al to go over our equipment manifests. I have to go over the explosives inventory, check, re-check, and double-check that everything’s there, then sign my life away for it.
They start with my truck and I hear things like “We’re doomed, there’s no beer in Rock’s coolers.”
“Charles? Albert? I can hear you.” I warble.
The snickering still doesn’t stop.
We spend the better part of three hours going over everything. There’s a lot of gear that needs to be accounted for, especially with Master Leonard accompanying us this time around.
My explosives have all been delivered as per order. I’ve added a few new items based on past experiences. The trailer is full to the brim as is my strongbox in the back of the truck.
Chuck and Al report that we were missing a few items, but they’ve sourced them and we’re all up to snuff.
“Snuff?” I ask, “That reminds me. Thanks. I need some Red Man plug.”
Chuck and Al look at each other quizzically.
We all look over our equipment manifests. Everything that could be topped off has been.
Good. I was worried they might not have blinker light fluid this far out in the sticks.
We have four total sets of gear for entering the mines. All the monitors, ropes, carabiners, gas monitors, Self-Rescuers, SCBA packs, yadda, yadda…it’s a lot of kit.
I hope I still have room for my supplies from the store three doors down from the motel.
Then I remember that Chuck and Al have some room in their truck. Which, I now realize, will be for Leonard’s gear.
Speaking of which.
“Guys?,” I ask, “Anyone seen Leonard?”
“Not since Sam’s office” they reply.
“Fuckbuckets. How long does it take to sign a few forms? I wonder aloud.
I go back into the Bureau and there sits Leonard, on a bench outside of Sam’s office.
“So, Leonard,” I ask, “Everything OK. All systems go?”
“I was ready two hours ago,” he replies, “I was told someone would come for me.”
“And you never thought to ask Dr. Sam or his secretary or the janitor…?” I asked bellicosely.
“I was told someone would come for me,” he repeats.
“Well,” I snort, “That someone is me. Grab your gear and meet in the back lot in 2 minutes.”
I turn and leave before I stuff the arrogant little prick into a rubbish bin.
Out back, I come stomping up to Al and Chuck.
“Guys,” I say, “This little fucker is some piece of work. He’s been waiting outside Sam’s office for 2 hours because he was told ‘someone would come for him’.”
“Ohhh….” Chuck replies, “Not a good first step.”
“Ya’ think?” I ask, “Right now, I’m thinking parcel post. What do you think it’d cost to ship him back to Colorado fourth-class?”
Right then, Leonard arrives from around the side of the building and condescendingly says “I could use some help here with my luggage.”
I just walk over to my truck and swear.
Chuck and Al go over and help Leonard relocate his six-piece matched leather luggage set.
“You have got to be fucking with me.,” I say, as I stare and swear at the spectacle.
“Leo?,” I ask, “What’s all this? Packing for a tropical holiday?”
He visibly bristles that I’ve called him Leo, so at least I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.
“This is everything I require,” he icily informs me, “for a month-long sojourn in the desert.”
“No shit?” I ask. “Well, here’s the deal, Scooter. You tell me what pieces of your mine keep-your-ass-alive gear you want us to leave behind so we can make room in the Land Cruiser for your matched set of luggage.”
He stands there and bristles.
“Show me to my vehicle,” he indignantly says, “I can make it fit.”
Chuck and Al point to the Land Cruiser.
“No. No. No.,” he replies, exasperated, “Where’s my vehicle? I assumed that I’d at least have one at my disposal.”
“OK, Leo, listen up,” I say, “You assumed wrong. You can ride with me here in my truck. No one else can drive my truck because of the trailer. Explosives, licenses, and all that stuff. Good luck fitting in all your gear, though.”
He looks at me like I just handed him a lightly grilled weasel with fries.
“Or you can ride with Chuck and/or Al.,” I said. “They have first dibs, but if either want to ride with me…”
“No offense, Rock,” Chuck says, “But Al and I have this truck all sussed out. We’d really rather not ride with you, if you don’t mind.”
“OK by me,” I say, “So, Leo, either upfront with me and my cigars, or back seat duty with Albert and Charles.”
Leonard huffs like this is the greatest affront he’s had to deal with since Grandmama overcooked his morning 3-minute egg.
Leonard just stands there, fuming.
I don’t give a shit. We have field transportation. I’m not requisitioning another field vehicle for this skeezer. Either he loads up or we leave his ass.
His choice.
“Which is it, mister?” I said, “I don’t have time to waste here while you weigh the pros and cons of where you’re going to park your ass.”
If looks could have killed, I would have gone home in a butt can.
“OK, so not with me? Cool.” I say.
“Assholes and elbows, gentlemen,” I yell, “I’m off to the grocery store after I make one stop. See you all there.”
I get into my truck, fire up a cigar, drop her into gear, and am off to the liquor store for my pick-up.
Later, at the grocery store, I run into Chuck and Al. Evidently Leonard decided against this whole idea or he culled all his crap and stuffed it into their Land Cruiser.
Actually neither.
Chuck and Al are laughing hard that Leonard is currently bungee-ing down his all leather six-piece matched set of luggage to the baggage rack on the top of the guy’s Land Cruiser.
“No shit?,” I asked. “I wonder in which one he packed his cashmere pup tent.”
We all share a chuckle as Leonard rounds the corner.
“Well, welcome aboard, Leo,” I say, “Chuck and Al have our shopping list from our last excursion. Check it to see if there’s anything you absolutely can’t have; that is, not just dislike. This isn’t a gourmand outing. If there’s something you absolutely cannot exist without, we’ll see if we can make room for it.”
Leonard stands there, fuming.
“Oh, and the restrooms here are clean,” I note, “You might want to shed those duds and get into your field gear. Next stop: the great outdoors.”
Addressing Chuck and Al, “Let me know before you head out. We need to compare notes.”
They agree and head off to the deli while Leo stands there, looking forlorn.
“You might want to catch up with them,” I note, “They have some eclectic tastes.”
I wander off to find some Red Man Plug.
Back in the parking lot, I futz around the back of my truck. Beer into the coolers, followed by ice. Booze into the coolers, insulated with foam padding to protect against hard knocks, followed by ice.
I shift this, re-arrange that, tie down a few other things.
I can see Chuck, Al, and now Leonard’s, Land Cruiser. It looks very tall and very silly with all that luggage.
Evidently Leonard is ignoring my advice in fashion.
“Oh, well,” I remark, “He’s a big boy.”
I return to the cab of my truck. I load my Casull and shove it into my holster.
A box of cigars, a couple of my emergency flasks, spare lighters, flashlight, Thermal mug, maps, a binder full of mine schematics, and other necessities are already in residence on the next seat.
I check the radios; all functioning at 100%. I do a radio check with the Bureau, with our Land Cruiser, and everything is working A-OK.
I drag out the map and plot our next great adventure.
I scan the map and find mine I’d heard about from Sam. The Round Robin Mine was a particularly well-known party place for locals, and it was only 45 miles distant.
The Round Robin Mine was a gold mine, and an bloody old one.
Discovered in 1888, the Round Robin Mine has exploited the Cambrian Nogood Mountain Quartzite, Cambrian Prooble Formation, Ordovician “Comenow” Formation and the “upper plate” Barmy Formation. These units are unconformably overlain by the Permian Etaphart Formation (Gobbler’s Peak Equivalent) of the Bob’s Mountain Overlap assemblage, and by the Triassic Gotcha allochthon. These uppermost units form a belt of outcrops flanking the western and northern sides of the Nogood Range.
All of these units are intruded by two generations of felsic intrusive rocks – a set of 114 Ma dacite dikes and sills at Pyrite Ridge and Swine Creeks, the 92 Ma Nogood Stock and temporally related dikes and sills. To date, no Eocene intrusive rocks have been identified at the nearby Getchall, Swine Creeks, or Pension mines.
The Cambrian-Ordovician rocks were deposited on the platform and slope of the western margin of the North American Craton during the breakup of the Rodinia super-continent. The basal Nogood Quartzite and Prooble formation are generally regarded to represent sourcing from a continental landmass and consist of quartz arenite (Nogood), siltstone, and shale with subordinate carbonate lenses (Prooble). Carbonates of the Prooble were deposited in an open shelf or upper slope marine environment and have undergone minor re-working (winnowed oolitic and algal pellet limestones, fragmented trilobites).
Carbonates in the upper part of the Prooble formation are time equivalent to rocks described as “Comenow Formation” at Pension and Swine Creeks. The Ordovician Comenow Formation, as it is described in the deposits of the Gotcha Trend represents a significant departure from the continental derived clastic and argillaceous sediments of the Nogood and Prooble formations. The Comenow Formation in the footwall of the Gotcha Fault is characterized as thin to medium bedded carbonate turbidites, slumps, and debris flows with interlayered siliciclastic turbidites and argillaceous mudstone. The carbonate beds are interpreted to be derived from a carbonate sea, somewhere east of the Nogood Range. Algal pellets, fragmented coral, and crinoids have been observed as clasts in the carbonate debris flow conglomerates.
It’s a single level mine, trending generally north-south, along with loads of offshoot drifts east and west. It’s not terribly deep, although the main shaft slopes some 150. There’s loads of artifacts, but much of that has been removed by idiots that think old, unstable, abandoned mines make for great party places.
“Yeah,” I think, “This would be a good one for Mr. Leonard to cut his teeth on.”
Chuck and Al come over to my truck. They look exasperated.
“Yeah?,” I ask, “What’s up guys?”
Chuck wants to return my 10mm.
“I’m going to shoot him,” he says. “I’m just gonna shoot his ass.”
“Now, now,” I caution, wagging a finger, “Think of the paperwork.”
Al pipes in with “He’s a fucking prima-donna. Only organic eggs, no meat less than USDA Prime. Soy milk. Holy fuck, he probably wants whole-grain light beer.”
“Try and mollify the little twist,” I say, “Do what you can, within reason. No need to go crazy. We’ll try and adjust for his dietary proclivities, but either he eats what we put in front of him or he goes hungry. Simple as that.”
“Ah, Rock,” Chuck adds, “There’s one more thing. He either doesn’t or won’t cook.”
“OK, fine.,” I reply, “Gents, we now have a built-in dishwasher. Please use as many pots as possible.”
“Gotcha, Rock,” they agree.
Leonard’s still changing, evidently, in the restroom. I go over the itinerary for this first mine. They have the coordinates, so I’m headed out.
“See you there,” I said, “Hopefully, all three of you.”
I chuckle, realize that it really can’t be all that bad, fire up a heater, drop the truck into low gear, and head on down the highway.
“Pink Floyd,” I say as I jam in an 8-track of Piper at the Gates of Dawn, “Take me away…”
A little over an hour and a half later, I’m standing in front of the mine’s adit. It’s a big old gaping hole in the side of the mountain. Some 10 feet wide, but blocked by an iron caisson with a lockable door. The caisson and door had long been ripped down so local partiers and other douche-knuckles could assemble inside.
The crowning turd in this punchbowl was that all the recent fucking graffiti in the mine and even on the warning signs outside. Miner’s graffiti, particularly in old mines like this, can provide you all sorts of important information.
No longer.
All this graffiti is relatively new. And it obscures the historical stuff.
So much more the reason to shut this goddamned place down.
“I’m disgusted with my species sometimes,” I growl to the hawks and click beetles.
It’s getting on toward dusk.
I’ve got the campfire going, coffee brewing for anyone so taken, and the rotisserie set up so I can get this lovely bison flank roast going.
I also have a drink and a cigar. There’s a lantern set up on my truck.
Time continues to slip into the future.
I toss the foil-wrapped corn and camp taters in the fire and think about getting on the radio to see where Chuck, Al, and Leonard are.
Finally, I see a pair of headlights cutting through the very early evening gathering gloom.
The Land Cruiser brusquely skids to a halt some distance from my truck. Chuck and Al get out and head straight to the back of my truck and the coolers.
They each grab beers and a bottle of my best vodka.
“Uh, oh,” I think, “This first trip didn’t go so well?”
“Guys?,” I motion them over, “A conference?”
They stomp over, look to see Leonard fucking around with his luggage, and turn to me and snarl: “If you don’t kill him, I fucking well will!”
“Whoa, there buckaroos!,” I say, “Sit, partake, cool out, and tell kindly ol’ Doctor Rock all about it.”
“Rock,” Chuck tells me, “The guy’s a menace. Took him over an hour to change in the john at the grocery store. Then he had to fuck with his luggage. He had to repack his suit so it wouldn’t wrinkle. Then he insisted on the front seat. Hell, he even wanted to drive, although he’s never handled a four-wheeler off-road. And wait until you get a load of his field gear…”
Al nods in agreement and continues, “He’s telling us how everything is going to go now that he’s here. He’s from the Colorado School of Mines and an engineer as well, he brags. ‘He knows what’s best. He knows what to do.’ He knows jack shit!”
“Message received,” I say, “You work on your beers and watch dinner. I’ll go have a chat with our newest recruit.”
I wander over to the Land Cruiser with my cigar and drink.
“So, Leo,” I say, watching him stiffen, “Welcome to the first night out in our shared adventure.”
Leonard drops down from the roof and I see to what Chuck and Al were referring.
He’s wearing all light-tan, camel-colored clothes. Expedition shirt, Dockers shorts, tall black synthetic-material no-breathe socks, and some sort of bastard hybrid trainer-field shoe, part leather and part who the fuck knows what.
Plus he’s wearing a Pith Helmet, a fucking Pith Helmet, and has a tan, monogrammed towel wrapped around his neck.
It was all I could do to keep myself from laughing in his face.
To be continued.
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2020.01.30 07:13 Rocknocker DEMOLITION DAYS, PART 78

Continuing
“Green?” comes the reply.
“Meaning: ‘We understand and agree fully?’” I reply.
“Oh, yes, boss man. Very green.” They agree.
“OK, now,” I ask, “Either of you familiar with firearms?”
Both tell me they have been deer and bunny hunting and Al likes to target shoot with his .22. and .38 Special.
“OK, here’s the deal,” I continue, “Right after breakfast tomorrow, its weapons detail. You pass my little tests, and I’ll issue you one of my personal sidearms. Out here, it could come in very handy” as I relate the saga of Dr. Eva and the puma.
“Remember,” I add, “These are my personal pistols. You will take very good care of them, will you not?”
“Oh, very, very green,” they reply.
“Good.” I think.
The rest of the night, we put a good dent in our beer supply. I get to know these guys and even though they’re mining geologists, they’re a couple of clever lads. We’re all geologists of one sort or another under the skin and that helps with our ‘esprit de corps’.
These lads have had a long day, so I call lights out.
“I’ll see you in the morning,” I say, “Bright but not too early. Let’s make it 0730.”
Night has fully fallen. I sit out for a while, finish off my cocktail, my cigar, and revel in the spectacle of the backbone of the night. Holy wow, there’s a lot of stars out here tonight.
Freshly made coffee, eggs, and bacon rouse these guys early out of bed. It’s 0745 and already we’re cleaning up the breakfast dishes.
They know enough about field trips, field camps, and fieldcraft to clear the area of food, store, or hang it where animals cannot reach. To bury garbage well away from camp, and place heavy rocks on top; so I don’t have to teach them everything.
“OK, guys,” I say, as I walk them over to a likely looking outcrop. In front of it, I have several old rusty cans set up on a board between a couple of rocks. There’s a good backdrop with enough sand to prevent any ricochets from errant bullets.
I pull back my vest and hand each one of my Glock 10mm pistols.
“Gentlemen,” I explain, “These are my Glock Model 40 10mm pistols. They carry 18 in the magazine and one up the pipe. They are semi-automatic, so they fire every time you pull the trigger. We OK so far?”
I’m watching them intently as they handle the weapons. Both are clever enough to spit out the magazine and eject the one in the chamber before futzing around inspecting the weapons.
Highest marks.
“Any questions?” I ask.
“Why do we need guns? Anyways?” Al asks.
“Did you already forget my little story about Dr. Eva and the catamount I told you last night?” I said.
“Oh, that’s gotta be a one-off.” He snorts, “Like that’s ever happened twice.”
“Perhaps, perhaps not” I reply, But I know there’s loads of snakes, spiders, scorpions, sidewinders, pack rats, badgers, foxes, coyotes, Gila monsters, fungo bats, bloodsucking umpires, and myriad other forms of nasty, toothy critters that think your leg would be a great late afternoon snack. Then there’s rabies. I’m immunized against it, are you?”
“No,” they admit.
“Plus,” I add, “It’s a dandy noisemaker if you get lost or cornered by rabid biker or accountant gangs.”
“My dad said you should never shoot anything you’re not going to eat,” Al replies.
“You want to chew on a packrat, be my guest,” I reply, “Besides, old tin cans and paper targets are just not at all tasty.”
Al had to agree with my stunning logic.
“OK,” I say, “Pucker time.”
I had out pairs of earplugs.
“Al,” I say, “You first. Call your shots.”
“OK,” he replies, “Left to right.”
He fires eight times and hits four cans. Not bad for someone with a new, to them, weapon.
“Chuck,” I say, “You’re up. Same as the last.”
“OK,” he says, “Right to left.”
He fires nine times and scores three hits.
Fair enough in my book.
I order them to go to weapons safe, and I’ll be right back after I make a quick run to my truck.
I return with holsters for both of them.
“Keep the guns in here. That way they’ll always be by your side.” I say. I wander down and re-set the range.
“Doc, we have to ask,” they both grin, “What the hell is that?” they ask, pointing at my Casull.
“Cover your ears.” I smile.
I pull my sidearm and drop the hammer five quick times. I would do six, but the shells are so big, there’s only room for five.
Five cans downrange are still doing their death dance.
“Holy shit!” Al exclaims. “Damn, Doc. What the fuck is that?”
I smile, and tell them, “A custom Casull .454 Magnum. For hunting bison, up close.”
They stand there goggling as I re-holster, turn heel, and head back to the truck.
After lunch, it’s explosives training. But first, I need to know what they know.
Just the basics, actually. Familiar with dynamite and Primacord, but none of the other fun permissibles.
OK, then its demonstration time. I ask them to put their hands in their pockets, stand around, and observe while I whip up a series of explosives as for my demonstration.
I give a running dialogue as to priming explosives, the differences between them, how to set and charge for different situations, what Primacord can do, what demo wire is for, and how a galvanometer works. I show them the difference between a time-delay pull-fuse, a plunger-type blasting machine, and the venerable Captain America.
They got a real charge, no pun intended, out of Captain America.
I made certain to make the physical amounts of each explosive about as close to each other as I could.
For the demonstration, I had: Blasting caps, Primacord, C-4, 40% Extra Fast Dynamite, 60% Extra Fast Dynamite, RDX, PETN, ANFO, Kinestik, Seismogel, and HELIX.
I asked them to go out and scrounge up around 12 rocks of around the same size, weight, and dimensions.
Being geologists that took all of 5 minutes. I had them set them in a line some 100 or so meters distant. We would use my worktable, set off to the side, as blasting central.
I went and set, and primed all the charges with equal-strength blasting caps; except, of course, for the blasting cap itself.
I ran back 12 twin leads of demo wire and showed them how to operate a galvanometer. It’s really not rocket surgery and they got the idea quickly. I let them galv the last 6 shots.
I figured I’d show them both how a manually actuated blasting machine worked, so I set it up for the blasting cap. The cap alone was nestled under a rock that weighed about 3 kilos. All the rocks were limestone, about the same size and weight.
It was going to be a hell of a show.
One time, and one time only, I explained how we ‘clear the compass’.
Then how we tootle with vigor whatever horn is handy. Usually an air horn.
Then we do a quick visual to make certain there are no errant animals around, quadrupeds, or bipeds.
Then the FIRE IN THE HOLE thrice mantra.
Then one last quick scan of the area.
Then I point, and yell: ”Hit it!”. Or if you’re doing a shot on your own, you try and punch out the bottom of the manual blaster, pull the pop-top on a delay fuse, or push the big, shiny red button on Captain America.
“Got all that?” I ask.
They assured me that they did.
So, on with the show.
We go through the safety procedure, and I punch the bottom out of “Old Reliable”. The blasting cap fires immediately splits the rock and sends it reeling in two different directions.
The next was a primacord set-pull-forget delay primer on a spiral of Primacord under a rock. The Primacord initiator took off once the fuse hit it and 22,500 feet per second later, detonated the spiral of Primacord. The rock shattered and it went off in several directions.
C-4 made that rock fragment and sent many shards long distances. Chuck and Al were taking copious notes.
40% Dynamite launched that rock skyward. It landed some seconds later.
60% Dynamite absolutely destroyed the rock and sent it flying in several directions, scattering itself over a large, wide area.
RDX, PETN, and Seismogel did a good job of both fragmenting and relocating the rock samples.
ANFO, is a much slower, as it is a deflagrating rather than detonating explosive, really launched that rock skyward. We never did find it afterward.
Kinestik and HELIX binaries just obliterated the rock samples. One second there, next second, POOF; there it was, gone.
Each time, before the shot, we went through the safety protocol. They got the immediate idea I was a Safety Bug and it was best not to ask questions if the safety protocol was always necessary. It was just easier to comply.
We spent the rest of the day going over aerial and satellite photos, the old mine maps, and newer USGS maps of the area. Then we broke out the mine-inspection gear. They both were accomplished rock climbers, so highest marks for them.
We went over SCBA, all the noxious gas monitors, NORM badges, the need for gloves, the why of hardhats, re-breathers, hip chains, Self-Rescuers, and the rest of the near 25 kilos of crap we needed to kit out in before we attacked a mine.
“So, Doc. So much for today,” Al says, “When are we going to hit a mine?”
“Tomorrow, bright, and early,” I said.
“Where is it?” they asked.
About 200 meters away, to the north. Why did you think I camped here? It’s the Y-Knot manganese mine. It’ll be a good one for you guys to cut your teeth on.”
The Y-Knot mine is found in rocks that are interbedded limestones and shales of Mississippian age. For the most part, they dip steeply to the southwest, but they are locally folded and have been cut by three sets of faults thrust faults, tear faults, and normal faults.
The manganese ore bodies are irregular, pod-like, or tabular in shape. Most of them extend along normal faults, but others replace limestone adjacent to faults, and one is along a thrust fault. They are almost completely oxidized to a depth of 170 feet. The ore consists predominantly of pyrolusite with some wad and psilomelane. These minerals may have been formed by the oxidation of rhodochrosite and alabandite.
The mine is so-called because, in plan view, that is, from overhead, it resembles a large capital letter “Y”. It consists of a single longitudinal tunnel and two branching anastomoses at about 1350 angle. Both lateral open to the surface by ‘glory holes’, or ‘prospect pits’, which are vertical shafts to the surface.
All three entrances to the mine, the primary adit, and the two later shafts, will have to be blasted to close this mine. That will be our task tomorrow.
Just as an aside, as I get more into this, the more I’ll be tossing a lot of mining terminology around, so I best define what the more usual terms encountered mean.
Ackermans: Steel bolts inserted into pre-drilled holes in the walls or floor, though not the roof, of a mine to affix support structures. (cf Rock bolts.)
Adit: a horizontal passage leading into a mine for the purposes of access or drainage.
Chute, or Ore Chute: An opening, usually constructed of timber and equipped with a gate, through which ore is drawn from a stope or raise into mine cars.
Cribbing: A temporary or permanent wooden structure used to support heavy objects, as used in sub-surface mining as roof support.
Crosscut: A level tunnel driven across the mineral vein.
Face: The end of the drift, crosscut, or tunnel, generally where the miners work.
Gangue (pr. ‘gang’): The host rock for the ore.
Glory hole: An open pit from which ore is extracted, especially where broken ore is passed to underground workings before being hoisted.
• *Gobbing: The refuse thrown back into the excavation after removing the ore; the ‘gob stuff’. Also the process of packing with waste rock; stowing. A worked-out area in a mine often packed closed with this.
Lagging: Planks or small timbers placed between steel ribs along the roof of a stope or drift to prevent rocks from falling, rather than to support the main weight of the overlying rocks.
Muck: Ore or waste rock that has been broken up by blasting.
Portal: The surface entrance to a tunnel or adit.
Raise: A vertical or inclined underground working that has been excavated from the bottom upward.
Rock bolts: Fixtures supporting openings in roof rock with steel bolts anchored in holes drilled especially for this purpose.
Shaft: A vertical or inclined excavation in rock for the purpose of providing access to an orebody. Usually equipped with a hoist at the top, which lowers and raises a conveyance for handling workers and materials. The primary access to the various levels. May be up to 10,000 feet deep.
Stope: An excavation in a mine from which ore is, or has been, extracted.
Tailings or Tails: The waste rock that has been through the mill and had the valuable mineral removed.
Winze: An internal shaft.
There, now you’re all expert hard-rock underground miners. Now hand me that double-slung jack and call me a shaker.
Continuing, we were to assault the old Y Knot mine in the morning. That means until then, the drinking light has been lit. I’ll let my charges; my guys, not explosives, fiddle with dinner tonight.
Again with franks and beans. OK, not bad, but just belly timber. One could go spare on a constant diet like this. Well, one step at a time; I don’t want to over-amp these guys by dropping too much on them too fast.
However, I did show them how to make my killer cobbler in a Dutch Oven for dessert.
Quick digression:
Doc’s Killer Cobbler recipe.
Ingredients:
• Fruit: peaches, berries of any kind, or a mixture of bananas, apples, pears, seasonal fruit. Pick one, or mix, and use about 60 ounces.
• 4 tubes ready-made Parker House dinner rolls.
• 1 stick real, not that Illinoise imitation crap, butter.
• Ground cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, or cayenne, to taste.
Method:
• Place a 14 Inch camp Dutch Oven over glowing campfire embers.
• Pour contents of fruits into Dutch Oven. Pop open dinner roll tubes, arrange rolls over fruit to cover completely. Sprinkle spice(s) over all to taste. Cut butter into equal slices and arrange them on top. Add a touch of kosher salt if desired.
• Put the lid on top of the oven and place a camp shovelful of embers over the top to the Dutch Oven. Let sit, unmolested, for about 45 minutes.
• Retrieve from the fire, clean off oven. Spoon into bowls while hot and add one healthy shot or more of cream liqueur: Bailey’s Irish Creme, Magnum Cream Liqueur, Amarula Cream, Somrus Indian Cream Liqueur, Tolón-Tolón Whisky Cream, Gioia Luisa Lemoncello Crème, 1921 Crema De Tequila, Mexico, or coffee liqueur: Tia Maria, Kahlua, Heering, or Patron XO Liqueur.
• Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, if available.
Now, back to our story…
Early the next morning, after a quick breakfast of eggs, waffles, bacon, grapefruit, pancakes, hot oatmeal, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and golden cheese blintzes, we were all standing around the back of my truck.
On the tailgate were three piles of mine-going-into gear.
I told Chuck and Al to watch as I got decked out for our invasion of the Y Knot mine.
Among all our usual kit of hip-chains, demo wire reels, hardhats, gloves, hammers, cameras, sample bags, ropes, carabiners, rapid ascenders, SCBA gear, monitors of all types of noxious gasses, safety glasses, notebooks, pencils, Sharpies, lights, batteries, water, water, and air dye markers, spray paint, etc., we had some new kit to try out: self-rescuers.
The BLM/DOI had just taken possession of a bunch of these new devices. An oxygen self-rescuer or self-contained rescue device (SCRD) is a portable piece of equipment that supplies breathable air when the surrounding atmosphere lacks oxygen or is contaminated with toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide or beer farts. It is intended as an adjunct to our heavy SCBA, but not a replacement.
We were the Guinea Pigs to field test them and see if they could replace those heavy SCBA fuckers.
I was used to being a pack animal, but Chuck and Al just stood there, afraid to move in case they were punched into the ground like a pair of thumbtacks by all the added weight.
I had hoped that during this project, we could pare down all our gear to just the absolute necessities.
We all wobbled over to the mine adit. I whipped out my lucky $20 gold piece and told Chuck to call it in the air.
“Heads.”
“Tails it is.” I said, “OK, who’s first?”
We were going to attack the mine in pairs, with me as the leader. One would accompany me to the face of the mine and the left drift. The second would follow me later as we inspect the right drift.
Afterward, we’d all go into the mine to set and prime charges.
Al chose to go first. Chuck pulled up a comfortable rock just outside the adit and made sure all our radios were working. He began taking notes, inspecting old maps, and getting more familiar with the surroundings.
Al and I walked up to the portal, cut away the old, rusty barbed wire which did nothing to keep out locals, noted the positive airflow out of the mine, and ventured inside.
We made good time as the mine was the usual inverted horseshoe-shaped design workings, with a relatively flat floor. Lots of breakdown, or cavings, in areas that weren’t cribbed, but what cribbing was there looked fairly stout. It wasn’t too wet.
I had Al taking samples every time there was a change in the country-rock. I showed him how to handle sample taking from the walls of the mine, which is an art and sort of delicate. Become too aggressive and you could bring down the entire roof on your heads. I told him to bag and tag the samples and leave them on the floor, no use dragging them all to the face of the mine only to have to drag them back out.
We made good time. The country-rock was unexciting carbonates like limestones, marls, and mudstones, but there were some beautiful hydrothermal streaks of manganese-rich minerals. Since this mine was destined to never again see the light of day, I wanted to be sure to document it every step of the way.
There was a lot of old miner crap left in the main tunnel. Old ventilation tubing, hoses, wire, twisted rails, an old, rusted out ore cart, old drink, and tobacco tins; the usual stuff found in old mines. It was all in all fairly unremarkable and we made good time to the face.
“OK,” I said, “That was easy. Don’t get used to it.”
“So, now, we just turn around and head out?” Al asked.
“Yes and no,” I replied, “Yes to heading out, no we just don’t hightail it back to the adit. We look around and mark places for possible charge placement.”
In the left drift, there was a shaft right to surface. It was clogged with rocks, shrubs, and busted timbers. However, I considered it a portal, no matter how minor, and it would have to be blasted and closed forever.
Al agreed.
We tied off some demolition wire on a rock at the backside of the left drift. We’d return later with the explosives.
We walked out of the mine, looking closely for evidence of any surface manifestations.
These would indicate that there was a natural or inadvertent man-made path to surface. These would need attention as well. We spray painted fluorescent orange blotches on sites we thought could use a blast of dynamite.
Al gathered our samples on the way out and we made it back to the adit. We both gratefully accepted the cold drinks Chuck had the forethought to provide. Walking around in hot, dry, and dusty mines one builds a powerful thirst.
After a half an hour, a cold drink, and a quick smoke; Chuck, and I repeat the process, but end up in the right-hand drift. We do the demo wire trick, turnabout, and head out of the mine.
I noticed something around the 250-foot mark that both Chuck and Al walked right through without a notice.
Typical, they’ll learn.
After our drinks, smokes, and piss breaks, I told them that we’re all going back in the mine for a quick look-see.
“There’s something I want you to see,” I said, as we all kitted back up and re-entered the mine.
At the 250 foot mark, I asked “OK, guys. What did you miss?”
They looked up, down, and all around. They didn’t quite realize they were standing right on the thing to which I was referring.
“Guys, look down,” I said.
They did. Still, the penny refused to drop.
“Well, Rock,” Al said, “We give up. What’s so important?”
“What are you standing on?” I asked.
“Mud.” Chuck snickered.
“Yes. What kind?” I asked.
“Muddy mud?” he asked.
“Nope,” I said, “Dried mud. With polygonal desiccation cracks”
“OK,” they both asked, “And…?”
“OK, basic sedimentology. Where does mud come from?” I asked.
“Slowly moving sediment-laden water.” They replied.
“Precisely.” I said, “So, why just here and not over the whole mine floor?”
They chewed over that for a bit.
“Because there is or was a local flow of water?” Al asks.
“Keep going…” I said.
It took a few seconds, but the light bulb finally lit off.
“There must be a source of the water, a channel for it to flow, and dump mud just right here,” Chuck said.
“Yes. Exactly,” I said, “There must be a fracture system or joint or some form of entrance from the surface to this part of the mine. If it was groundwater, it’d be all over the place. Since we’re relatively shallow, in this arid clime, and well above the water table, the water must be surface water.”
“And therefore, a link to the outside!” Al and Chuck both said.
“Bingo!” I said, “But we don’t know how large, how extensive or even its directionality. It could be a tiny group of mining-induced fissures when they blasted here. Or it could be that Mammoth Cave is hiding just behind this wall.”
“Ah, now we get it,” they replied.
“So?” I asked.
“Nuke the fucker, just to be sure. Right?” Al smiles.
“Absolutely. It’s the only way to be certain.” I reply, grinning.
Back at the truck, we shed some of the now less necessary gear. We replaced that with blasting caps, pliers, Primacord, the galvanometer, and dynamite.
We were already wired in thanks to our demo wire-run the first two trips into the mine. We were using demo wire and not just Primacord for the whole run. Doing that, we’d run out of Primacord in no time flat. Instead, we used demolition wire, to that we’d affix a blasting cap, to that, Primacord, to that, the dynamite.
Oh, I suppose I could have eliminated the Primacord, but when I’m running something this long, I want all the insurance I could get. Even if I had a dodgy blasting cap, the Primacord would initiate the dynamite.
Back in the mine, we wire up the left drift. After that, the right. It was a fairly simple job, but I could handle the timing back at the truck. It was straight runs of wire for each separate blast.
Sorry, Grandad and Uncle Bår, we just can’t do “One job, one-shot” this time.
We added a few sticks to some dodgy cribbing on the way out as well as the mud zone.
These were wired as one and would actuate after the drifts back at the mine face.
At the adit, we chipped, chapped, and channeled the rock to make some nice little alcoves for the dynamite. These would be the last, in case of a misfire. I’d hate to have to re-enter a mine after an initial blast and then there was a misfire. If I shot the adit first, I’d be leaving the job less than done as I couldn’t re-enter the mine and fix the problem.
So, let’s not have problems.
I trained Chuck and Al how to galv, re-galv and double-secret you-bet-your-ass re-galv every fucking connection.
I was that cautious. I really didn’t want a misfire.
We were at my truck and having smokes, drinks, and a bit of a break. What seemed like all morning was just a few hours. Still some time to lunch, but I broke out the bison jerky to everyone’s delight.
The mine was set, charged, and primed.
Showtime.
“Gentlemen, if you’d do the honors,” I asked.
They cleared the compass.
They looked around. No one. Nothing in sight.
They tootled the air horn.
They scanned around the area again quickly.
I affixed the wires to Captain America for the rear drifts and the ones down the tunnel.
I hooked up the Ol’ Reliable plunger for the adit.
“FIRE IN THE HOLE” x3. Again, quite literally.
I handed Chuck Captain America. Pointed to him and yelled, “HIT IT!”
He mashed that big, shiny red button with malice aforethought.
Ker-foom! Ker-Blam!. POW! POW! POW!
They all went off as expected. There were wisps of dust and smoke emerging from the now-closed drifts of the old mine.
I pointed to Al, then to Ol’ Reliable, and said: “HIT IT!”
He tried to knock the bottom out of the detonator.
The adit disappeared in a cloud of dust and angry; roaring at the insolence, with shattered rock.
And just like that, the Y Knot mine ceased to exist.
I informed my guys that we have to wait at least a half-hour before we check for stragglers.
We decided to brew up a cuppa and since we had a little time, we had our baloney and cheese sandwich lunch.
For the first time this trip, I got my keys and opened the trailer. I rooted around until I can up with one of the many signs we were carrying. I grabbed a signpost as well.
The sign read, paraphrased, “This mine was closed by the offices of the BLM, BIA and DOI on [date].” There was geographic and other historical data, as well as places for us to sign the sign as witnesses, rather than the architects of its destruction.
“There. Now that’ll keep’em the fuck out.” I chuckled.
Chuck and Al signed. They wanted, for some reason, to post the sign themselves. Guess its pride in a job well done.
I’m working on a Lime Nehi as it’s still a workday and I’m poring over the geological maps of the area. Chuck and Al come over, breathlessly, and ask me to go inspect their sign works.
“OK,” I said, and wandered over.
Looks good. There’s Al’s signature. There’s Chuck’s. There is mine. There’s…
A cartoon of a fuming stogie with the caption: “Doctor Rock says STAY THE FUCK OUT!
I look at them. They look skyward, rock on their heels, look at the ground, look everywhere but directly at me.
“Now that’s a proper fucking sign” I laugh.
We police our area, pack up, and break camp. We’ve got some traveling to do.
The next mine we consider is a real doozy. The “Beautiful Darling Betsy” gold mine. The mine is located in what’s termed a “Carlin-type” gold deposit.
A “Carlin-type” gold deposit is a hydrothermal disseminated-replacement deposit. Here, the Bobs Mountains thrust divides sedimentary rocks near the deposit into two assemblages. Units below the thrust, here collectively referred to as the lower plate, include more than 670 m of limestone and an upper dolomite bed (about 70 m thick) of the Pogojump Group, here of Early and Middle Ordovician age, overlain successively by the Middle Ordovician Yreka Quartzite (about 170-180 m thick); Middle Ordovician to Early Silurian dolomite of the Manson Creek Formation (about 160-180m thick); limestone and dolomite beds of the Bobs Mountains Formation (about 550-600m thick), here of Middle Silurian to Early Devonian age; and limestone of the Early, Middle, and Late Devonian Badenov Formation (about 50-275m thick).
Units above the thrust, ranging in age from Early Ordovician to Early Silurian, here collectively referred to as the upper plate, are subdivided into a lower zone, 60 to 80m thick, of interbedded chert and shale, as well as minor sandstone, limestone, and quartzite; a middle zone, more than 760m thick, of interbedded chert and shale as well as minor sandstone, limestone, and carbonaceous shale; and an upper zone, more than 900m thick, of interbedded chert and shale; as well as quartzite that includes silicified shale and recrystallized chert.
Sedimentary rocks of Cenozoic age include Miocene and Pliocene lakebeds; conglomerate, sandstone, and mudstone of the Pliocene Marlin Formation; and Quaternary alluvium, or surficial shmoo. Small gold placers occur in stream channels and fans along the east side of the range.
Igneous rocks in the Blynn mining district include intrusive granodiorite, diorite, and quartz diorite dikes and stocks of Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous age, and extrusive flows and sparse dikes of rhyodacite and rhyolite of Miocene age. The younger igneous rocks are confined to the west flank of the range.
Carlin-type systems may have a geochemical expression involving a much broader suite of elements than previously recognized. Elements with distribution patterns considered to be related to the mineralizing event include Ag, As, An, Ba, Bi, Ca, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mg, Mo, Mn, Ni, P, Pb, S, Sb, Se, Te, Tl, U, V, W, and Zn.

Most closely associated with gold deposition are enrichments in As, Sb, Hg, Tl, Ag, and Zn within a halo of Ca, Mg, Ba, and Sr depletion. The elements Fe, Mn, Co, Ni, and P are most elevated in the immediate hanging wall of the regional fault and above the deposit in a region where secondary carbonate veins (ankerite, kutnahorite, and Mn-rich dolomite); open-space-filling carbonate minerals (siderite, calcite).
It’s a complex suite of rocks, minerals, and geochemical environments. There’s sedimentary (soft rock) and igneous-metamorphic (hard-rock) mining here. The mine, therefore, is much more complex in layout than the simple central tunnel and adits of the Y Knot mine. This mine has several levels, dead-ends, cul-de-sacs, cupolas, raises, winzes, and stopes.
Each rock type poses its own set of problems to overcome. But that’s my plan; take my charges from the simplest to the most complex. That way, we cover the spectrum and everything else we do out here is going to fall somewhere in-between.
This mine is multi-level and according to what documentation exists, the lower levels are flooded. Which lower levels are not noted, so we have that potential to deal with as well.
It takes three hours to drive to our chosen next mine, the one, and only “Beautiful Darling Betsy,” or BDB Mine.
It’s a very old mine, started back in the late 1910s. There’s still present at the mine site the headframe, hoist house, grizzly (a grating placed over an opening to an ore pass or chute usually made of steel rails that prevents large rocks or ore from falling below), huge spoil piles, draw works and various buildings that were used for labs, storage, and miner’s camps.
There’s a ton, well, actually several many of tons, of antique mining artifacts here, although most of the best stuff has already been picked clean. However, not only is it expressly illegal to enter these mines, but it’s also wicked-bad illegal to remove any of these artifacts of Nevada’s mining history.
Cultural materials on public lands may not be removed, damaged, disturbed, excavated, or transferred without BLM/DOI permits. Cultural resources include prehistoric and historic artifacts and sites, broken objects and debris more than 100 years old that were used or produced by humans.
Protected materials include arrowheads and other stone tools, grinding stones, beads, baskets, pottery, old bottles, horseshoes, metal tools, graves, and trash scatters. Historic sites such as cabins, sawmills, graves, trail traces, mining areas, townsite ranches, and railroads are not open to collection.
We will document this whole area photographically as well.
We arrive at the sprawling BDB Mine and choose our campsite. There’s no one in evidence as far as the binoculared eye can see.
Since Chuck and Al are already setting up their tents and gear, I decide it’s time for a recon of the entire area. Al notes there’s a dry wash a small distance away and there’s loads of deadfall firewood. He’s going to collect it for tonight’s festivities.
I drag Chuck over to the trailer and have him give me a hand lowering down the dirt bike.
He looks at the Maico and gives a low whistle.
“You sure you know how to handle one of these, Doc?” he asks.
“Oh, fuck yeah. I’m an old rider from way back.” I smile.
“That’s what I was afraid of” he smirks and walks back to camp.
We only have one brain bucket (helmet) so everyone will have to take turns. But, for now, me first.
“RHIP”. Rank Hath It’s Privileges.
With helmet, gloves, and field boots, as I’m already wearing long pants for once, I kick start the bike. The recoil from the first couple of times kicks back hard.
“Yowch! You little fucker,” I growl.
The bike fires in that angry coffee-pot sort of sound that 2-stroke engines make. There’s some blue smoke, but overall, it looks like all systems go.
I kick it into first, pop the clutch, twist the throttle a wee bit and HOLY SHIT!
I remain on the bike, just barely. I twist back the throttle way, way down and am able to get a feel for the nasty little thing.
It’s 500 cc’s of pure power and low-end torque. It can effortlessly drag my carcass all over the mine site.
Once I get a feel for the beast, I’m raising rooster tails on the sides of low dunes, scooting up scarps, and getting generally an overlay of the whole area. It’d take me days on foot to cover this much ground. I snap several rolls of film on that first trip.
“This is the way to do geology” I smile to myself.
I almost run over a rattlesnake cruising down the path back, so remember that we may be the only people things hereabouts, there are other critters that call this home.
A good thing to remember before we enter the mine complex.
Back at camp, Chuck and Al wait for my $20 gold piece. They both want to take a look around as well.
Al wins and is off in a fury of dust. Evidently, he’s a rider as well and has done motocross for years. I have to admit, he made me look like a bloody novice.
To be continued.
submitted by Rocknocker to Rocknocker [link] [comments]


2020.01.29 05:54 CuteBananaMuffin Forbidden Knowledge [Mega Thread + pictures + illustrations)

Forbidden Knowledge [Mega Thread + pictures + illustrations)
from TimeTravelResearchCenter Website

- Did time travelers visit the earth’s past? The evidence is overwhelming.- Who left the modern shoe prints found in stone more than 200 million years before man appeared and dinosaurs roamed the planet?- Who left the metallic spheres found in South Africa... obviously made by man... but more than two billion years before man evolved on the earth?- Did modern humans meet their untimely death to have their remains preserved in the earth, hundreds of thousands of years before possible? From where, or perhaps "when," were advanced civilizations visiting our past thousand’s and million’s of years before man appeared on the earth? Explore the Possibilities and the fascinating scientific evidence. These pages contain just the surface of the forbidden knowledge being hidden and protected today... knowledge that suggests a strong possibility that our views of human origins are either incorrect... or maybe that time travelers have already visited Earth’s past.

The False Front
Temporal anomalies are scattered throughout the world -- things that could not possibly belong to the time period in which they were found. Evidence exists of human civilization, artifacts and technology out of time that are abundant, well researched and well documented.
This forbidden knowledge is being protected and hidden from all of us.
Today’s popular view of modern human presence in the distant past is a false front. The real truth is out there showing proof of advanced technology and people millions of years before humanity is stated to have evolved on the planet.
Why has the scientific establishment and government suppressed and ignored these remarkable finds? Where did they come from? How did they get there? Why are we suppressing this suggestive proof of modern time travelers visiting our past?
As you study the forbidden knowledge on these pages a whole new truth will emerge and become apparent to you... the truth that the earth was visited or inhabited by modern humans using advanced technology long before the appearance of the first humans as the history books write today.

https://i.redd.it/3rfb2lg1end41.gif
The chart above presents the accepted scientific view of evolution on this planet... It shows human beings appearing on the earth about 1.6 million years ago, and human civilization just 10,000 years ago.
However, using accepted scientific methods numerous finds show conclusive proof of modern humans and advanced civilizations present or visiting the earth’s past long before this timeline represents as possible. The proof is shocking! Scientific proof of visitors, possibly time travelers, long before civilized man evolved on the planet.
From where, or perhaps "when," were advanced civilizations visiting our past thousands or millions of years before man appeared on the earth?
As we move further back in time through the different eras, you will see evidence continue to grow... evidence showing proof of modern humans and technology in the distant past.

Cenozoic Era Proof
The Cenozoic Era is last of the five major eras of geologic time, beginning about 65 million years ago and extending through the present.
It follows the Cretaceous period of the Mesozoic era and is subdivided into the Tertiary period and the Quaternary period. Features of Tertiary times are considered in articles under the names of the various shorter time periods (epochs) making up the Tertiary period; in order, from earliest to latest, these are the Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, and Pliocene.
The accepted scientific view of evolution in the Cenozoic Era shows human beings appearing on the earth about 1.6 million years ago, and human civilization just 10,000 years ago.
Yet the scientific finds presented below present a very shocking and different story.
Pleistocene Epoch Finds
- Copper Coin from Illinois, over 200,000 years old This rendition of a coin-like object, from a well boring near Lawn Ridge, Illinois, was found at a depth of about 114 feet below the surface.
According to the information supplied by the Illinois State Geological Survey, the deposits containing the coin are between 200,000 and 400,000 years old...

https://preview.redd.it/o6c5k1h4end41.jpg?width=198&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0ff1989fa96f4673de7438a9abc31ab73106286a
Who left this coin hundreds of thousands of years before civilized man evolved?

- Modern Human Skeleton from Tanzania, over 800,000 years old In 1913 Professor Hans Reck, of Berlin University, conducted investigations at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, then German East Africa.
During his stay at Olduvai Gorge, Reck found a modern human skeleton that remains a source of mystery and controversy to this day.

https://preview.redd.it/4ty23xp7end41.jpg?width=257&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=26b8110fdfe57f17e27b20609c865c434130bda9
This modern skull is from a fully human skeleton found that year. The human skeletal remains, including this complete skull, were cemented in the rock and had to be chipped with hammers and chisels. It was found in the upper end of a rock bed dated at more than 1,000,000 years old.
How did this modern human find his way 1,000,000 years into the past?


- Willendorf Venus Statue, over 30,000 years old
The Willendorf Venus, from Europe, dated at 30,000 years old. Who created or left this artifact nearly 20,000 years before human civilization appeared?
https://preview.redd.it/pn8au88aend41.jpg?width=114&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=99293de8300168a789bffcf2a0f54ded40afcd95

- Modern Human Skull in Buenos Aires, over 1,000,000 years old In 1896, workers excavating a dry dock in Buenos Aires found a modern human skull. The Pre-Ensenadan stratum in which the Buenos Aires skull was found is a least 1.0 - 1.5 million years old.

https://preview.redd.it/y77vw86eend41.jpg?width=284&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=313b61de4743264977b1c879ee8f5c1a26247b5d
Even at 1 million years the presence of a fully modern human skull anywhere in the world is highly anomalous.
Why and how did a modern human arrive in Buenos Aires over 1,000,000 years ahead of its time?

Pliocene Epoch Finds
- Figurines from Nampa, Idaho, about 2 million years old A small human image, skillfully formed in clay, was found in 1889 at Nampa, Idaho.
The figurine came from the the 300-foot level of a well boring and dated to be of the Plio-Pleistocene age, about 2 million years old. G. F. Wright noted,
"The image is about an inch and a half long; and remarkable for the perfection with which it represents the human form... It was a female figure, and had the lifelike lineaments in the parts which were finished that would do credit to the classic centers of art."

https://preview.redd.it/xgdja12hend41.jpg?width=300&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=c76b01b78dae75a27b288717954421fa83b8b331

Upon showing the object to Professor F. W. Putnam," wrote Wright, "he at once directed attention to the character of the incrustations of iron upon the surface as indicative of a relic of considerable antiquity. There were patches of anhydrous red oxide of iron in protected places upon it, such as could not have been formed upon any fraudulent object."
Humans had not even evolved on this planet two million years ago. So who created or left this artifact in earth’s distant past?


- Modern Human Skull found in Italy, over 3 - 4 million years old Late in the summer of 1860, Professor Giuseppe Ragazzoni, a geologist and teacher at the Technical Institute of Brescia, traveled to the nearby locale of Castenedolo, about 10 kilometers southeast of Brescia, to gather fossil shells in the Pliocene strata exposed in a pit at the base of a low hill, the Colle de Vento.

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Here he discovered this remarkable and anatomically modern human skull. The stratum from which it was taken is assigned to the Astian stage of the Pliocene.
According to modern authorities, the Astian belongs to the Middle Pliocene, which would give the skull an age of 3 - 4 million years.
Why and how did this modern human visit Italy nearly two million years before human beings walked the planet?

- Carved Shell from the Red Crag, England, between 2.0 and 2.5 million years old In a report delivered to the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1881, H. Stopes, F.G.S. (Fellow of the Geological Society), described a shell, the surface of which bore a carving of a crude but unmistakably human face. The carved shell was found in the stratified deposits of the Red Crag.
The Red Crag, part of which is called the Walton Crag, is dated to be of Late Pliocene age between 2.0 and 2.5 million years old. This find would place intelligent beings in England as far back as 2.0 million and maybe as much as 2.5 million years ago.

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One should keep in mind that in terms of conventional paleoanthropoligical opinion, one does not encounter such works of art until the time of fully modern Cro-Magnon man in the Late Pleistocene, about 30,000 years ago.
What visitor to Earth’s distant past carved and left this shell?


Eocene Epoch Finds

- Chalk Ball near Laon, France, 45 - 55 million years old The April 1862 edition of The Geologist included an English translation of an intriguing report by Maximilien Melleville, the vice president of the Societe Academique of Laon , France.
This chalk ball was discovered in an Early Eocene lignite bed. On the basis of its stratigraphic position, is has been assigned a date of 45 - 55 million years ago.
According to Melleville, there was no possibility that the chalk ball was a forgery:
"It really is penetrated over four-fifths of its height by a black bituminous color that merges toward the top into a yellow circle, and which is evidently due to the contact of the lignite in which it had been for so long a time plunged. The upper part, which was in contact with the shell bed, on the contrary has preserved its natural color -- the dull white of the chalk.... As to the rock in which it was found, I can affirm that it is perfectly virgin, and presents no trace whatever of any ancient exploitation.

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As extraordinary as it might seem to those attached to standard evolutionary views, the evidence associated in this find suggest that if humans made the ball, they must have been in France 45 - 55 million years ago.
Who made and left this man made artifact in our past long before human evolution... even before grazing and carnivorous mammals walked the planet?

- Mortar and Pestle in California, up to 55 million years old In 1877 Mr. J. H. Neale was superintendent of the Montezuma Tunnel Company, and ran the Montezuma tunnel into the gravel underlying the lava of Table Mountain, Tuolumne County...
At a distance of between 1400 and 1500 feet from the mouth of the tunnel, or of between 200 and 300 feet beyond the edge of the solid lava, Mr. Neale saw several spear-heads of some dark rock and nearly one foot in length.
On exploring further, he himself found a small mortar three or four inches in diameter and of irregular shape.

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This was discovered within a foot or two of the spear-heads.
He then found a large well-formed pestle and near by a large and very regular mortar. All of these relics were found the same afternoon, and were all within a few feet of one another and close to the bed-rock, perhaps within a foot of it. Mr. Neale declares that it is utterly impossible that these relics can have reached the position in which they were found excepting at the time the gravel was deposited, and before the lava cap formed.
The position of the artifacts in gravel close to the bed-rock at Tuolumne Table Mountain indicates they were 33-55 million years old. Grazing and carnivorous mammals had not even evolved on the planet at this time.
So who brought and left behind these artifacts in California nearly 50 million years ago?

- Sling Stone from Bramford, England, 5 - 50 million years old This sling stone is from the detritus bed beneath the Red Crag at Bramford, England. At least Pliocene in age, the stone is at least 5 million and possibly up to 50 million years old. Upon examination it was obvious that the stone had been shaped by the hand of man....

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The whole surface... has been scraped with a flint, in such a way that it is covered with a series of facets running fairly regularly from end to end.... The scraping described above covers the whole surface of the object, and penetrates into its irregularities.
As it stands the object is entirely artificial... yet left in a time millions of years before humans had had even evolved on the Earth.


Mesozoic Era Proof
The Mesozoic Era is one of the major divisions of geological history, following the Paleozoic era and preceding the Cenozoic era.
The Mesozoic era, which lasted from approximately 240 million to 65 million years ago, may be characterized as the Age of Reptiles because their greatest development occurred during this era. The first birds and mammals and the first flowering plants also appeared at this time. The Mesozoic era is divided into three time periods: the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous.
As we move back into time we enter a period in the Mesozoic Era that began with the first dinosaurs appearing on the earth and ending with the development of flowering plants. Humans wouldn’t evolve for at least another 136 million years.
Yet the scientific finds below suggest proof that advanced civilizations were visiting Earth’s past and walking at a time when dinosaurs roamed the planet.
Cretaceous Period
- Metallic Tube at Saint-Jean de Livet, France over 65 million years old Y. Druet and H. Salfati announced in 1968 the discovery of semi-ovoid metallic tubes of identical shape but varying size in Cretaceous chalk.
The chalk bed, exposed in a quarry at Saint-Jean de Livet, France, is estimated to be least 65 million years old.

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Triassic Period
- Shoe Sole from Nevada, dated at 213 - 248 million years ago On October 8, 1922, the American Weekly section of the New York Sunday American ran a prominent feature titled "Mystery of the Petrified ’Shoe Sole," by Dr. W. H. Ballou.
Ballou wrote:
"Some time ago, while he was prospecting for fossils in Nevada, John T. Reid, a distinguished mining engineer and geologist, stopped suddenly and looked down in utter bewilderment and amazement at a rock near his feet. For there, a part of the rock itself, was what seemed to be a human footprint!
Closer inspection showed that it was not a mark of a naked foot, but was, apparently, a shoe sole which had been turned into stone.

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The forepart was missing.
But there was the outline of at least two-thirds of it, and around this outline ran a well-defined sewn thread which had, it appeared, attached the welt to the sole. Further on was another line of sewing, and in the center, where the foot would have rested had the object really been a shoe sole, there was an indentation, exactly such as would have been made by the bone of the heel rubbing upon and wearing down the material of which the sole had been made.
Reid got hold of a microphotographer and an analytical chemist of the Rockefeller Institute, who made photos and analyses of the specimen. The analyses removed any doubt of the shoe sole having been subjected to Triassic fossilization....
The microphoto magnifications are twenty times larger than the specimen itself, showing the minutest detail of thread twist and warp, proving conclusively that the shoe sole is not a resemblance, but is strictly the handiwork of man. Even to the naked eye the threads can be seen distinctly, along with the definitely symmetrical outlines of the shoe sole. Inside this rim and running parallel to it is a line which appears to be regularly perforated as if for stitches.
The Triassic rock bearing the fossil shoe sole is now recognized as being dated at 213 - 248 million years old. An obviously modern shoe, complete with stitching, and etched in time in ancient Triassic rock.
What modern visitor was walking in our distant past more than 210 million years ago before the age of the dinosaurs?
Paleozoic Era Proof
The Paleozoic Era is a major division of geological time, preceded by Precambrian time and followed by the Mesozoic era, and including the Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, and Permian periods. The Paleozoic Era began about 570 million years ago and ended about 240 million years ago.
As we move back even further in time we enter this period of the Paleozoic Era where life was evolving from primitive, multicellular, free-floating forms in the sea to advanced groups on land. The most advanced life forms at the end of this period where amphibians, insects, fern forests, and small reptiles. Humans would not evolve for nearly another 300 million years.
Yet the scientific finds below again suggest even more strongly that modern humans with advanced technology were visiting Earth’s past and walking at a time when the first life forms were just beginning to emerge on our planet.
Carboniferous Period
- Gold Thread in England, between 320 - 360 million years old On June 22, 1844, this curious report appeared in the London Times:
"A few days ago, as some workmen were employed in quarrying a rock close to the Tweed about a quarter of a mile below Rutherford-mill, a gold thread was discovered embedded in the stone at a depth of eight feet."
Dr. A. W. Medd of the British Geological Survey wrote in 1985 that this stone is of Early Carboniferous age between 320 and 360 million years old.
Who dropped this gold thread in the ancient fern forests in a distant time when the most advanced life forms on the planet where amphibians and insects?
- Gold Chain from Morrisonville, Illinois, 260 - 320 million years old On June 11, 1891, The Morrisonville Times reported:
"A curious find was brought to light by Mrs. S. W. Culp last Tuesday morning. As she was breaking a lump of coal preparatory to putting it in the scuttle, she discovered, as the lump fell apart, embedded in a circular shape a small gold chain about ten inches in length of antique and quaint workmanship.
At first Mrs. Culp thought the chain had been dropped accidentally in the coal, but as she undertook to lift the chain up, the idea of its having been recently dropped was at once made fallacious, for as the lump of coal broke it separated almost in the middle, and the circular position of the chain placed the two ends near to each other, and as the lump separated, the middle of the chain became loosened while each end remained fastened to the coal.
The lump of coal from which this chain was taken is supposed to come from the Taylorville or Pana mines (southern Illinois) and almost hushes one’s breath with mystery when it is thought for how many long ages the earth has been forming strata after strata which hid the golden links from view. The chain was an eight-carat gold and weighed eight penny-weights."
The Illinois State Geological Survey has said the coal in which the gold chain was found is 260 - 320 million years old. This raises the possibility that culturally advanced human beings were present or visiting in North America during that time.
How did this gold chain find itself left behind in Earth’s distant past more than a quarter of a billion years before humans had evolved?
- Carved Stone near Webster, Iowa, 260 - 320 million years old The April 2,1897 edition of the Daily News of Omaha, Nebraska, carried an article titled "Carved Stone Buried in a Mine," which described an object from a mine near Webster City, Iowa.
The article stated:
"While mining coal today in the Lehigh coal mine, at a depth of 130 feet, one of the miners came upon a piece of rock which puzzles him and he was unable to account for its presence at the bottom of the coal mine. The stone is of a dark grey color and about two feet long, one foot wide and four inches in thickness.
Over the surface of the stone, which is very hard, lines are drawn at angles forming perfect diamonds. The center of each diamond is a fairly good face of an old man having a peculiar indentation in the forehead that appears in each of the pictures, all of them being remarkably alike. Of the faces, all but two are looking to the right.
Was this stone carved and left behind by a traveler from earth’s future?
- Iron Cup from Oklahoma Coal Mine, 312 million years old On November 27, 1948 the following statement was made by Frank J. Kenwood in Sulphur Springs, Arkansas.
"While I was working in the Municipal Electric Plant in Thomas, Oklahoma in 1912, I came upon a solid chunk of coal which was too large to use. I broke it with a sledge hammer. This iron pot fell from the center leaving the impression mould of the pot in the piece of coal.
Jim Stall (an employee of the company) witnessed the breaking of the coal, and saw the pot fall out. I traced the source of the coal, and found that it came from the Wilburton, Oklahoma, Mines. According to Robert O. Fay of the Oklahoma Geological Survey, the Wilburton mine coal is about 312 million years old.
What advanced civilization or visitor was creating or using iron pots in our past more than 300 million years ago?
- Block Wall in an Oklahoma Mine, at least 286 million years old W.W. McCormick of Abilene, Texas, reported his grandfather’s account of a stone block wall that was found deep within a coal mine:
"In the year 1928, I, Atlas Almon Mathis, was working in coal mine No. 5., located two miles north of Heavener, Oklahoma. This was a shaft mine, and they told us it was two miles deep. The mine was so deep that they let us down into it on an elevator.... They pumped air down to us, it was so deep." One evening, Mathis was blasting coal loose by explosives in "room 24" of this mine.
"The next morning," said Mathis, "there were several concrete blocks laying in the room. These blocks were 12-inch cubes and were so smooth and polished on the outside that all six sides could serve as mirrors. Yet they were full of gravel, because I chipped one of them open with my pick, and it was plain concrete inside."
Mathis added: "As I started to timber the room up, it caved in; and I barely escaped. When I came back after the cave-in, a solid wall of these polished blocks was left exposed. About 100 to 150 yards farther down our air core, another miner struck this same wall, or one very similar."
The coal in the mine was Carboniferous, which would mean the wall was at least 286 million years old. According to Mathis, the mining company officers immediately pulled the men out of the mine and forbade them to speak about what they had seen. Mathis said the Wilburton miners also told of finding "a solid block of silver in the shape of a barrel... with the prints of the staves on it," in an area of coal dating between 280 and 320 million years ago.
What advance civilization built this wall?... Why was the truth, as is so many of these cases protected and hidden?... What is the real truth about time travelers, modern humans, and modern technology in our past?

- Hieroglyphics in Ohio Coal Mine, 260 million year old It is reported that James Parsons, and his two sons, exhumed a slate wall in a coal mine at Hammondville, Ohio, in 1868. It was a large smooth wall, disclosed when a great mass of coal fell away from it, and on its surface, carved in bold relief, were several lines of hieroglyphics.
Who carved these hieroglyphics more than 250 years before humans walked the earth?
Devonian Period
- Nail in Devonian Sandstone, between 360 and 408 million years old In 1844, Sir David Brewster reported that a nail had been discovered firmly embedded in a block of sandstone from the Kingoodie (Mylnfield) Quarry in North Britain.
Dr. A. W. Medd of the British Geological Survey recently indicated that this sandstone is of "Lower Old Red Sandstone age" (Devonian, between 360 and 408 million years old). In his report to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Brewster stated:
"The particular block in which the nail was found, was nine inches thick, and in proceeding to clear the rough rock for dressing, the point of the nail was found projecting about half an inch (quite eaten with rust) into the ’till,’ the rest of the nail lying along the surface of the stone to within an inch of the head, which went right down into the body of the stone."
The fact that the head of the nail was buried in the sandstone block would seem to rule out the possibility the nail had been pounded into the block after it was quarried. This was a time where amphibians and insects were the only dominant life form on our planet.
So who dropped this nail to have it eventually preserved in rock at a time more than 350 million years before humans appeared?
Cambrian Period
- Shoe Print in Utah Shale, 505 to 590 Million Years Old In 1968, William J. Meister, a draftsman and amateur trilobite collector, reported finding a shoe print in the Wheeler Shale near Antelope Spring, Utah.
This shoe-like indentation and its cast were revealed when Meister split open a block of shale.

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Clearly visible within the imprint were the remains of trilobites, extinct marine arthropods. The shale holding the print and the trilobite fossils is from the Cambrian, and would thus be 505 to 590 million years old.
Meister described the ancient shoe-like impression in an article that appeared in the Creation Research Society Quarterly:
"The heel print was indented in the rock about an eighth of an inch more than the sole. The footprint was clearly that of the right foot because the sandal was well worn on the right side of the heel in the characteristic fashion."
At this time in our planet’s history there was no plant or animal life on the land, even the most early types of fish swimming in the seas had not yet evolved. It must have been a very barren landscape that this visitor to Earth’s past saw as he walked the land.
How did he arrive so far into our past?
Pre-Cambrian Period
- Metallic Vase from Pre-Cambrian Rock, over 600 Million Years Old The following report, titled "A Relic of a Bygone Age," appeared in the magazine Scientific American (June 5, 1852):
"A few days ago a powerful blast was made in the rock at Meeting House Hill, in Dorchester, a few rods south of Rev. Mr. Hall’s meeting house. The blast threw out an immense mass of rock, some of the pieces weighing several tons, and scattered fragments in all directions. Among them was picked a metallic vessel in two parts, rent asunder by the explosion. On putting the parts together it formed a bell-shaped vessel, 4-1/2 inches high, 6-1/2 inches at the base, 2-1/2 inches at the top, and about an eighth of an inch in thickness.

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The body of this vessel resembles zinc in color, or a composition metal, in which there is a considerable portion of silver. On the side there are six figures of a flower, or bouquet, beautifully inlaid with pure silver, and around the lower part of the vessel a vine, or wreath, also inlaid with silver.
The chasing, carving, and inlaying are exquisitely done by the art of some cunning workman. This curious and unknown vessel was blown out of the solid pudding stone, fifteen feet below the surface."
According to a recent U.S. Geological Survey map of the Boston-Dorchester area, the pudding stone, now called the Roxbury conglomerate, is of Precambrian age, over 600 million years old. By standard accounts, life was just beginning to form on this planet during the Precambrian.
But in the Dorchester vessel we have evidence indicating the presence of artistic metal workers in North America over 600 million years before Leif Erikson. At this time in our planets history the was no life on land, plant or animal. The most advance life-form at this barren time in our planets history was simple algae floating in the seas. Yet somehow through time this beautiful work or art was brought and left behind and eventually buried and preserved in ancient rock.
Did a time traveler from the earths future leave this behind in the hopes of later discovery... in an attempt to help ensure that the truth about time travel would one day be revealed?

- Grooved Sphere from South Africa, 2.8 Billion Years Old Over the past several decades, South African miners have found hundreds of metallic spheres, at least one of which has three parallel grooves running around its equator.


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The spheres are of two types
"one of solid bluish metal with white flecks, and another which is a hollow ball filled with a white spongy center."
Roelf Marx, curator of the museum of Klerksdorp, South Africa, where some of the spheres are housed, said:
"The spheres are a complete mystery. They look man-made, yet at the time in Earth’s history when they came to rest in this rock no intelligent life existed. The globes are found in pyrophyllite, which is mined near the little town of Ottosdal in the Western Transvaal. This pyrophyllite is a quite soft secondary mineral with a count of only 3 on the Mohs’ scale and was formed by sedimentation about 2.8 billion years ago. On the other hand the globes are very hard and cannot be scratched, even by steel."
The sphere with the three parallel grooves around it are too perfect to be anything but man made. The Precambrian mineral deposit where the globes are found is dated to be at least 2.8 billion years old. At this time simple microscopic cells were all that was alive on the earth.
But this is obviously not true.
Who created or left behind these magnificent spheres. Obviously man made, and stronger than steel, what was their purpose for the people who visited and left them behind in time?
Other Finds
- Artifacts From AIX En Provence, France In his book Mineralogy, Count Bournon recorded an intriguing discovery that had been made by French workmen in the latter part of the eighteenth century.
Bournon wrote:
"During the years 1786, 1787, and 1788, they were occupied near AIX en Provence, in France, in quarrying stone for the rebuilding , upon a vast scale, of the Palace of Justice. The stone was a limestone of deep grey, and of that kind which are tender when they come out of the quarry, but harden by exposure to the air.
The strata were separated from one another by a bed of sand mixed with clay, more or less calcareous. The first which were wrought presented no appearance of any foreign bodies, but, after the workmen had removed the ten first beds, they were astonished, when taking away the eleventh, to find its inferior surface, at the depth of forty or fifty feet, covered with shells.
The stone of this bed having been removed, as they were taking away a stratum of argillaceous sand, which separated the eleventh bed from the twelfth, they found stumps of columns and fragments of stone half wrought, and the stone was exactly similar to that of the quarry: they found moreover coins, handles of hammers, and other tools or fragments of tools in wood.
But that which principally commanded their attention, was a board about one inch thick and seven or eight feet long; it was broken into many pieces, of which none were missing, and it was possible to join them again one to another, and to restore to the board or plate its original form, which was that of the boards of the same kind used by the masons and quarry men: it was worn in the same manner, rounded and waving upon the edges."
Count Bournon, continuing his description, stated:
"The stones which were completely or partly wrought, had not at all changed in their nature, but the fragments of the board, and the instruments, and pieces of instruments of wood, had been changed into agate, which was very fine and agreeably colored. Here then, we have the traces of a work executed by the hand of man, placed at a depth of fifty feet, and covered with eleven beds of compact limestone: everything tended to prove that this work had been executed upon the spot where the traces existed.
The presence of man had then preceded the formation of this stone.
- Letter-like Shapes in Marble, Philadelphia In 1830, letter-like shapes were discovered within a solid block of marble from a quarry 12 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The marble block was taken from a depth of 60-70 feet.


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This was reported in the American Journal of Science (vol. 19, 1831, p. 361). The quarry workers removed layers of gneiss, mica slate, hornblende, talcose slate, and primitive clay slate before coming to the layer from which the block containing the letter-like shapes were cut.
While they were sawing through the block, the workmen happened to notice a rectangular indentation, about 1.5 inches wide by .625 inches high, displaying two raised characters.
Several respectable gentlemen from nearby Norristown, Pennsylvania, were called to the scene and inspected the object. It is hard to explain the formation of the characters as products of natural physical processes.
This suggests the characters were made by intelligent humans in the distant past.
submitted by CuteBananaMuffin to conspiracy [link] [comments]


2019.09.03 03:25 Furshlugginer492 Festivals Out of Time

By Yael Dragwyla, a.k.a. Furshlugginer492
From Dragon Drive, Volume II, Book 1
[Continued from "The Other Gods, Part 3']
I said, “It all sounds so, so normal.”
“Yes, it does, Sugar. You gotta understand, like just about any other group o’ people, most members o’ the Order loved their children, an’ tended to have close ties with their kin. Which is one reason they cherished those holidays, ’cause it brought ’em all together in good spirits an’ knitted bonds among ’em that’d never go undone. An' why most of 'em didn't want much of anythin' at all with Ruth an' Bill Gruen,” he said, frowning.
“What other holidays did you observe there, Monty?”
“Oh, the Order’s version of Easter, which us kids celebrated with hard-boiled eggs with their shells all painted up in gorgeous designs, Easter Peeps, tons o’ jelly beans, an’ the obligatory Giant Chocolate Bunnies an’ their cohorts o’ chocolate Easter chicks,” he said, chuckling. Then, more serious, he said, “They believed that one o’ the Gods they worshiped, Great Cthulhu, the same one ol’ Lovecraft wrote on, would return from R’lyeh to judge the world, an’ He would have a son, either one o' his body or a human o’ this or that lineage, nobody was sure which, who would rule over the world from then on while Great Cthulhu joined the other Great Old Ones on other worlds.
“There was a harvest-type feast, the same sort o’ thing most cultures have the world over, that took place around the autumn Equinox, an’ a holiday to celebrate the summer Solstice an’ the long, lazy days o’ summer. They celebrated cross-quarter days, too, with holidays like Groundhog Day, when we played ‘Chase the Zoog’ an’ other games an’ got little sweet cakes to eat, an’ Shub’s Feast, on April 30 an’ May 1, which honored both the dark an’ bright aspects o’ Shub Niggurath, the Fertility o’ the Cosmos, an’ we did Maypole dances an’ that sort o’ thing. There was one on August 5th to mark the middle o’ the astronomical Summer, one o’ those dedicated to Great Cthulhu Hisself, the Bringer o’ Light an’ Fire to the World. An’, o’ course, there was Halloween, which we called Samhein, on October 31, which us kids celebrated more or less like kids ever’where else in the USA, goin’ on trick-or-treat expeditions an’ throwin’ parties with enough candy an’ soft drinks an’ cake an’ ice cream to give Godzilla Hisself a roarin’ case o’ diabetes, an’ the adults partied, too, after goin’ to a service o’ some kind. Halloween was the most fun, I think, ’cause us kids had our own private tradition o’ findin’ ways to freak out the fundamentalists that lived thereabouts, from bags o’ dog shit set afire on their porches to prank calls to scarin’ the wits out of ’em by pretendin’ to be evil spirits come to haunt ’em late at night,” he said, grinning.
“Monty!”
“Oh, that wasn’t the half of it. Y’see, at one time or another all those fundies come around to our parents’ an’ grandparents’ houses, tryin’ to get ’em to come to their church, an’ rantin’ about how we was all damned an’ would go to Hell when we died ’cause we didn’t hold with their nonsense. Same thing they do to ever’body who ain’t a fundamentalist – I remember Daddy throwin’ one off the porch an’ into the cacti we had growin’ there at the side o’ the house, he got so mad at ’im for tryin’ that shit on us,” he said, his grin even wider. “Anyways, Halloween was our time to get revenge on ’em for the ways they’d pestiferated us an’ our families, an’ did we ever have fun doin’ it!
“But that was just the fun side o’ things. Like I said about Halloween, there was also religious services ever’body in the Order went to, as well, includin’ all the holidays. I didn’t understand a lot of it, but I don’t think our rabbi would’a been put off too much by most of it. It was the twist that Ruth an’ her little coterie o’ hooligans put on it, an’ the private services they concocted for themselves an’ people like my Mom who they dragged into it that was so bad. Mom was always too scared to tell Daddy what went on durin’ those services – mostly ’cause she knew he’d come to Providence an’ end up killin’ Ruth an’ anyone associated with her if’n he found out. I did tell Daddy some of it, just the parts that wasn’t so outrageous that he’d be likely to go ballistic over it, an’ even that little got his back up. But it wasn’t enough to set ’im off, he just asked me to tell ’im if’n anythin’ really bad ever happened there, an’ he’d take care of it.
“Anyways, ’sides the ones for the Solstices an’ Equinoxes an’ the cross-quarter holidays, there was ones for all their Gods who wasn’t particularly honored at those main eight holidays.. Great Cthulhu, now, He was honored at the Winter Solstice an’ the high Summer cross-quarter holidays, as well as at Halloween, as Lord o’ the Months o’ Cold an’ Darkness, an’ His consort, Shub-Niggurath, the Fertility o’ the World, was honored at the one like Beltane, in early May, ’cause She was Lady o’ the Months o’ Light an’ Warmth. Nyarlathotep, Who ruled communication an’ thought an’ that sort o’ thing, had a holiday of His own in early June, an’ the Feast o’ Saint Toad, in early March, celebrated Tsathoggua, Who’s a sort of avatar o’ Pan an’ rules over all wild animals, who all love him. Sort o’ pagan, but comparable in some ways to the Roman Catholic Church’s calendar o’ the saints, an’ ever’ year at Winter Solstice they celebrated the start o’ their new year – the holidays at the beginnin’ o’ May an’ on Halloween, for Shub-Niggurath an’ Cthulhu, didn’t really initiate a new year, but the one at the Winter Solstice did. That’n was to give thanks to the One Who made us all, the God Behind All the Gods, y’see, an’ in that way they was monotheistic. Kinda like the Qaballists – all the other Gods an' Goddesses are really aspects o' the Creator, y'see.
“’Cept for Ruth an’ her bunch, I never heard nothin’ about the religion o’ the Order that was really bad. ’Course, I stopped goin’ on visits with Mom to her relatives when she moved out an’ got a divorce from Daddy, an’ because o’ that I didn’t get to take the classes they give kids who’ve gotten to the point where they can understand more complex an’ difficult ideas about religion. So there could’a been doctrine an’ practice that was bad or dangerous or worse. Dangerous, yes, ’cause Father Kahoku seemed to know all about the Other Side, though you could tell he loathed it an’ ever’thin’ about it. It wasn’t just Ruth an’ those that congregated around her. There was also things that fundamentalists would’a shat themselves over, such as the belief that the soul an’ spirit ain’t just human attributes, but present in all life-forms, that all life-forms on Earth are related, an’ the Gods love ’em all, including the God Behind All the Gods. But St. Francis hisself taught much the same thing, though not in quite the same words, an’ objectively speakin’, what is that but the theory of evolution, given spiritual dimensions an’ used as a way of teachin’ us that we’re part o’ the livin’ world, that this is our home, an’ that there’s no reason to hate an’ fear the critters we share that world with, ’cause they’re our cousins?
“An’ speakin’ o’ which, once Father Kahoku took me’n a few others kids my age to one o’ the great treasure houses o’ the Order for a treat, one located in Providence. We had to go blindfolded through a sort o’ maze that only somebody high up in the Order’s hierarchy, like Father Kahoku, had thoroughly memorized an’ knew the secrets of, so’s we’d never be able to tell later just where it was. There might even have been one o’ those same portals that people like Ruth used to get to the Other Side an’ back – I remember feelin’ a funny twistin’ in my guts at one point that felt just like it did when I was actually taken to the Other Side when I was two years old. So the vault we got to see that day might’a been in some other universe, for all I know, only accessible by a few people who knew how to get there.
“Anyways, that vault was full o’ the most wonderful things, treasures revered by all the members o’ the Order, who got to see an’ touch some of ’em at least once a year, at Winter Solstice, when the keepers o’ the vault, like Father Kahoku, brought some out to display to the congregations. An’ that happened on other holidays, too, though not as predictably. Some of ’em was said to date back to the Ordovician, or even way back in the Archaean Eon – oh, yes, they used just those terms, too. In those classes they give older kids, they taught evolutionary biology, givin’ the kids all the proper names for those sections o’ geological time. An’ they give a year or so o’ technical education in how to date fossils an’ minerals usin’ techniques more advanced than other people use now, even the Berkeley Clinics, techniques that make, say, argon-decay datin’ an’ that sort o’ thing look pitifully primitive by comparison. Their techniques worked, too, an’ they was taught how to compare the results o’ usin’ ’em with other, less sophisticated an’ more widespread ones which was still dependable, though with much larger error-bars, such as a lot o’ standard radioactive-decay techniques used by the Clinics an’ others today, to see if’n what they got was reasonable. I know, ’cause I made friends with kids my age in the Order whose older siblin’s told us a little about what they was studyin’, an’ none of it would’a raised eyebrows in a Keep science class. As they taught, the Gods made the world an’ its life as they made ’em, an’ to learn as much as we could about it was to show love for the Gods – somethin’ I wish more people understood.
“An’ as unbelievable as it sounds, some o’ the things in that vault that Father Kahoku showed us was over two billion years old. There was a label listin’ all the diff’rent datin’ techniques used to place each one in the geological record. An’ amongst the oldest o’ those things was actual artifacts, the kind o’ thing that Cremo an’ Thompson researched for their Forbidden Archeology, whose origins an’ natures wasn’t well-understood even by the Order, let alone anyone else.6 Things like perfectly-milled little discs just like our coins, but with strange pictures an’ writin’ on the front an’ back; a metal sphere that varied from bein’ a true an’ perfect sphere by less’n two nanometers all the way around; somethin’ that might’a been a cell phone like ones we used to use afore the War: all sorts o’ stuff to put the shivers up your back, thinkin’ about it.
“There was fossils, mummies, an’ even critters that’d been preserved by master taxidermists who did their work for the ages, or even eons, such as a giant orthocone from the Ordovician, one o’ those weird ‘ironin’ board’ sharks from the Devonian, an amphibian from the Carboniferous that was standin’ on its back legs, dressed in the oddest garments, an’ holdin’ a baton, for all the world like the leader of a bunch o’ drum majorettes – or an officer in a Victorian-age army.” Enthralled, not wanting him to stop for anything, I listened as he continued: “There was fossils an’ mummies an’ taxidermy jobs galore in there, like this gorgonopsid from the Permian in full, rampant roar beside a little lady built like a seal somehow standin’ upright on big, huge feet, her body taperin’ upward to a rounded point at the top o’ her head, reachin’ out to pet the gorgonopsid, mebbe to calm ’im down. She was dressed in a flowin’, tangerine-colored gown, with a circlet o’ pearls around her neck. The both of ’em was inside a box with glass sides, so’s we could see ’em. Father Kahoku said the glass was actually a sort of artificial diamond, made by a people who’d lived durin’ the last few centuries o’ the Permian, afore the Permian-Triassic Event that closed out the Paleozoic an’ began the Mesozoic. An’ they’d filled the box with an argon-40 atmosphere, too. He said that no more’n two atoms o’ the box’s atmosphere escaped per ten thousand years or so. They was able to monitor it by aid of a little box-thing put on the side of it by the same people who’d made it, an’ the modern chapters o’ the Order had back-engineered the box to figure out how to make one just like it, so’s they was able to test that. There was a manual an’ a history book that went with it, too, that those Permian people had written. Their world was on the brink of ecological collapse, an’ they wanted future generations o’ the Order to know what their civilization had been like, plus they wanted to tell anyone who found it what other species was part of it before an’ durin’ their times, so future species in the Order had a good snapshot o’ the Order’s history up to that time. An’ later species all the way up through the Ice Age, to our time, well, afore the War, anyways, had left translation o’ that manual an’ history book, to do the same thing for whoever came after us.
“There was plenty of other fossils an’ artifacts in there, too. That vault – it seemed to be one hell of a lot bigger than it looked at first glance, with corridors an’ hallways harin’ off all over the place, some seemin’ to stretch out forever, doors the length of all of ’em, leastways those we could see from where we was with Father Kahoku. He showed us more fossils, bones, an’ those taxidermy jobs than you ever could’a found in the Smithsonian – an’ that was just the tip o’ the iceberg. There was human artifacts an’ fossils, too – or, at least, hominoid ones, ’cause some o’ the dates on those went back to the Oligocene, some 30 million years ago, an’ they couldn’t’a been from modern humans. Yet they didn’t look too diff’rent from us, an’ many of ’em wore clothes an’ jewelry an’ carried well-made metal artifacts, even some gadgets that Father Kahoku said was just like the abacuses an’ even slide rules that modern humans’ve used.
“But most o’ the critters preserved in those vaults wasn’t anywheres near human. An’ most o’ the artifacts come from times so far in the past that it was hard to believe they was real. The most revered members of the Order wasn’t vertebrates of any kind. They lived back in the early Paleozoic, like certain orthocone species, critters livin’ under water who found ways to use the heat of underwater volcanoes to make things out o’ metal they used for protectin’ themselves, declarin’ territories, decoratin’ their homes, impressin’ sweethearts, an’ all o’ that. They also made tablets out o’ mud that they baked in volcano-heated ovens, just like we use kilns to turn things made out o’ wet, sticky, malleable clay into hard, durable objects like cups, plates, vases, an’ that sort o’ thing. They used the heat o’ those ovens to bake all the water out o’ the ovens themselves, an’ go on to fire the clay objects they put into ’em. It worked, too. There was some beautiful things in that vault that orthocones had made, incised with designs an’ even pictures from their own lives, the way the Greeks made their amphorae.
“An’ there was gorgeous swords an’ knives an’ other metal weapons an’ tools that they’d made by aid o’ volcanic heat, smeltin’ the metal in sealed containers an’ pourin’ out the molten metal through air-tight conduits into molds an’ lettin’ it set in those forms. Then, when the tool or weapon or whatever had hardened the way they wanted it, they took it out an’ used patient techniques to beat an’ fold an’ polish ’em until they was just right. More often, though, they used a technique that the Chinese may’ve invented to work metal, which is simply beatin’ the metal flat, then foldin’ it over an’ beatin’ it flat again, over an’ over again, thousands o’ times or more, in some cases over a period o’ years, until that metal had become so hard that it’d damned near cut diamond. The Chinese did that with gold, turnin’ it into somethin’ far harder’n carbon steel, workin’ it into the shapes they wanted by careful, patient labor until it become somethin’ that the steel makers o’ Toledo would’a sold their souls for! There was master metalworkers among the orthocones that could do that sort o’ thing an’ a lot more, who made the sort o’ swords an’ knives they write legends about in ever’ age, an’ was believed to be wizards in their own right, makin’ things nobody else could, an’ gettin’ paid a king’s ransom for that work, prob’ly in the golden versions o’ those coins we was allowed to handle that day.
“The orthocones might’a been the ones founded the Order o’ the Sun at Midnight, but nobody’s absolutely sure. There was hints in the records in that vault that there was species who lived long afore the orthocones that created somethin’ like the Order, which the orthocones then inherited through a long chain o’ species between them an’ those original ones, mebbe group-minds o’ bacteria or somethin’ o’ the sort. Some o’ those intervenin’ species might’ve included Ediacaran types, who lived afore the Cambrian Period, strange things built like air mattresses with seams runnin’ across ’em in various places dependin’ on the species. They was soft-bodied things, hard to fossilize, but we’ve got some fossils of ’em in ordinary museums today, and they did back when I was a kid, too. Others included arthropod-like things from the early Cambrian that was prob’ly cousin to Anomalocaris an’ that lot.
“Y’see, since the Cambrian or even afore that, critters’ve found a way to save the best o’ the best o’ both genes an’ cultures, an’ see species through mass extinctions usin’ bacterial plasmids to share genes, teachings, creation o’ safe places an’ arks, an’ so on. Gaia somehow evolved this as an answer to what Peter Ward calls the Medea Hypothesis, that like Medea, wife o’ the hero Jason, Earthly life tends to kill off its own children in enormous mass extinctions. That nearly happened at the end o’ the Permian, thanks to catastrophic, runaway global warmin’, you know, an’ bacteria were responsible for a lot of it. An’ then there was the Iceball Earths, long afore the Paleozoic, triggered by algae pourin’ out oxygen into the atmosphere an’ drawin’ down most o’ the carbon dioxide in it, so that the carbon got buried when those algae died and went to the bottom o’ the ocean. I studied such things at the University of Arizona, but I learned about ’em first an’ best from Father Kahoku an’ other teachers in the Order o’ the Sun at Midnight, which first come into bein’ over a billion years ago to preserve the best o’ whatever life had achieved through mass extinctions, an’ pass it on to future generations after things’d settled down an’ the Earth got to be suitable for life again.
“There was even stranger things’n that in that vault. A few of ’em was dressed up in space suits – that’s actually what Father Kahoku called ’em, space suits – an’ posed in sealed environments like the one from the Permian. There was one from the late Cretaceous, dated right to the K-T boundary, an’ there was a picture o’ what he looked like, as well as what his internal organs an’ skeleton was like. That was an archosaurian type, an’ the information that went with ’im said he’d lived through the K-T Event with some o’ his buddies, an’ other members o’ the Order found ’em an’ took ’em in, an’ he gave ’em all sorts of information about his nation’s space program an’ stuff that the Order hadn’t picked up on yet. Then some mammals joined the Order an’ carried all that information forward to future generations o’ members o’ the Order.
“But there was also two or three, all in boxes like that, wearin’ weird getups that Father Kahoku said was space environment suits, but wasn’t like no space suits Earth’s human astronauts wore, write-ups on what was known of ’em, plus photos of ’em without the suits, an’ anatomical diagrams on their morphology an’ so on included with ’em. Those was from beyond the Solar System. They’d come here for whatever reason, mebbe hostile to us, mebbe friendly, nobody was sure, an’ they died here, an’ their bodies was found by the Order afore they’d started to rot – prob’ly crashed-landed an’ made a terrible amount o’ noise doin’ so, which is what brought the Order at a run to investigate.
“Y’see, none o’ those ETs there in the vault had come to our world any later than the Jurassic, an’ two of ’em had showed up durin’ the Carboniferous Period. An’ none of ’em come here when anybody but the Order had any sort o’ high-tech civilization, an’ the Order has always been real careful about keepin’ their true nature hidden from their neighbors, ’specially neighbors with any kind o’ advanced technology, for reasons I’m sure you won’t have no trouble imaginin’. But when nobody else had any sort o’ technology, it was a lot easier to find an’ rescue – or recover – somebody who’d come here from space an’ crashed here, becomin’ vulnerable to the wildlife an’ whatever else was here at the time. The wildlife could be scared off or killed, but tryin’ to do that with people of whatever species who have lots more folks just like ’em back home who’d be likely to come lookin’ for what happened to their missin’ kin an’ neighbors was a whole lot dicier proposition.
“Father Kahoku said there was lots more presentations – that’s what he called those boxed-up, taxidermied critters, ‘presentations’ of ET types in other vaults the Order’d tucked away here an’ there, this vault just had a few, ’cause it concentrated mostly on things like rock samples taken at mass extinction boundaries, art works from earlier civilizations, an’ that sort o’ things. He said that the Earth had had visitors from beyond the Solar System many times durin’ humanity’s tenure on it, but we’d have to wait for a field trip to some o’ those other vaults to see what they was like.
“He wouldn’t open those boxes, o’ course, ’cause if’n he had, all the inert gases in ’em would’ve escaped, an’ deterioration o’ whatever was inside ’em would’a followed quickly. But we could go up to ’em an’ put our hands on ’em. I did that, an’ I got awesome flashes on alien worlds an’ their stars an’ the life that populated ’em. He also let us handle artifacts o’ various kinds, some, like that sphere, datin’ back a couple o’ billion years, an’ I picked up impressions from ’em o’ those ancient times on Earth, an’ the heavens above the Earth as they was then, or, in a couple o’ cases, views o’ worlds an’ stars an’ galaxies far away from our own. Some of ’em was so intense I almost wept over ’em, it was that powerful an experience, an’ others . . . well, some things don’t bear thinkin’ on.
“Ever’ child o’ the Order was supposed to go on tours o’ these vaults durin’ their courses on evolution an’ astronomy an’ the other things they learned when they got up close to around age 13, about the same time as we give a boy his bar Mitzvah, an initiation into the truths of our world an’ the life that has inhabited it down the eons. There was also these field-trips when we was younger, too. I never was able to take those courses from the Order schools – I’d’a dearly loved that, but my parents’ divorce put paid to that, ’cause Daddy didn’t want me goin’ back there to Providence no more, even though he knew Father Kahoku would protect me whilst I was there, he was that worried about the sort o’ things Ruth might pull. An’ I wasn’t all that unhappy not to go back again, m’self, for the same reason. But I missed Father Kahoku terribly. I still do,” he said, closing his eyes for a moment as he thought about the kind old man who had protected him and had loved all the Order children.
“Anyways,” he said, opening his eyes again, “those vaults’re prob’ly still around, an’ I’ll bet you there are still places you can get to ’em from, places set up far from big cities of any kind, which is why the War would’a spared ’em. Accordin’ to all reports from Fort Sac an’ the Fleet, Providence is still way too radioactive to go lookin’ around for one of ’em there, an’ the same is true o’ the area around Arkham an’ Innsmouth – both o’ those was in the fallout patterns from both New York City an’ DC, an’ so was Boston, which is why that whole area is a radioactive hell, even without bein’ nuked. My bets for findin’ ways into those vaults are on New Zealand, Borneo, an’ mebbe even the Hawaiian Islands an’ Tahiti, where there was lots of Order members. I think . . . I think, now, talkin’ to you about all this stuff, I should contact the Fleet an’ the Berkeley Clinics, or get Bill to do so, lettin’ ’em know they need to look for this. Remind me to do that later this week, darlin’, so’s I won’t forget.7 Anyways, those vaults was where all the things they displayed durin’ holidays in their churches was taken from, an’ where they went back afterwards, for safekeepin’.
“That was truly the most excitin’ an’ best day I ever had when I was with visitin’ Providence as a kid – well, outside o’ that trip to the Other Side when I was two, but that don’t count ’cause it was so awful, an’ I was so glad when I was back in Father Kahoku’s house, safe an’ sound, afterwards. Other than that, the services Mom an’ Ruth took me to, ’specially durin’ holidays, was the best times I had there. Ruth didn’t dare misbehave durin’ those services – as it was, most people in the Order already thought she was weirder’n a 23-dollar bill, an’ she didn’t want the rumors about her given more evidence to support ’em by misbehavin’ there. She knew Father Kahoku was watchin’ to make sure that neither she nor Bill did anythin’ funny to me or any other kids in the Order, at least when he was around, an’ gettin’ called on the carpet by ’im for hurtin’ one of us would’a given no end o’ terrible trouble for her an’ Bill. Rumors said Bill, that old pervert, had done some funny things to children in his time, but since they wasn’t children o’ the Order – or, in some cases, they was children o’ members o’ Ruth’s circle, who wouldn’t’ve dare tell what he did to ’em for fear o’ Ruth’s retaliation on them an’ their families – the Order never tried to do anythin’ about it. The Order took care of its own, all right, but only moved to help outsiders in those rare cases in which Order hierarchy believed those outsiders was crucial to their plans, whether they knew it or not. Same was true o’ what Benjamin did in his spare time – but then, he did have his daddy to get ’im started off properly in his career o’ crime,” he said, his voice dripping black widow venom. “Anyways, the services was nice, though their doctrine an’ sermons wasn’t what you’d like to have some other types o’ religionists overhear, ’cause o’ the stuff about nonhuman peoples in far gone times, an’ that sort o’ thing. They’d’a been nicer if’n Ruth an’ Bill hadn’t gone to ’em with Mom an’ me, but hey, nothin’ in life is perfect, is it?
“One o’ the best things about those services, ’specially when I was real young, is that I got to play with other Order kids in playrooms in their churches – only they called ’em ‘temples,’ just like Reform Jews do their synagogues. I also got to play with ’em in their own houses when Ruth took me with ’er when she made the rounds of Order members in her neighborhood. Remember that game o’ Mythosopoly Charlie brought down from Fort Sac last year, had ever’one here, just about, playin’ it for months afore it got old an’ only a few people kept on playin’ it? They had a game like that back in Providence, too, only they called it ‘Triumph o’ the Great Old Ones’ – an’ there was another company run by members o’ the Order, sellin’ only to Order members, put the same thing out an’ called it ‘Acquirin’ the World,’ meanin’ ‘acquirin’ the world a few properties at a time,’ or ‘takin’ over the human world by means o’ bidness an’ real estate transactions.’
“The first game was made by Chaosium, Inc., an’ retailed ever’where back afore the War. The second one was a rip-off o’ the first one, but the names o’ properties on it was a lot closer to all that hidden reality that the human world didn’t know about, an’ only people like Lovecraft an’ his Circle, all unknowin’ly, even come close to. I think some o’ that filtered out to others who survived the War, an’ that’s how Fort Sac got their version o’ the game, which was almost the same as the one we kids played back then. Like, the low-rent properties on Fort Sac’s version include Innsmouth, Red Hook, and other places which, in Lovecraft's fiction, was all inhabited by ‘degenerates, mongrels, and criminals,’ like the man said in his writin’s. Pricier properties included Arkham, Miskatonic University, and so on. An’ the most expensive an’ desirable properties include Yuggoth, Yaddith, an’ Leng, where dwelleth various o’ the Great Old Ones. O’ course, R'lyeh was the Jail, ’cause that’s where Great Cthulhu was pent up by hostile Gods, awaitin’ the day when He can come out an’ warm the Earth with His light. But there was another kind o’ Jail in the version I played as a kid, come to think of it, an’ that was the Other Side. R'lyeh was bad, yes, but the Other Side . . . I had real trouble not thinkin’ about the reality of it when I played the game with other kids, but that game was so much fun that soon I wasn’t thinkin’ about anythin’ but collectin’ more an’ better properties than ever’one else, just like ever’ other kid who played it.
“All healthy societies play games, you know. Play is one way young things learn what's necessary to their survival when they grow up, an’ the more fun it is, the more they play those games, an’ the solider those things set in, so by the time they’re all grown up they’ll have a good chance o’ livin’ at least long enough to have kids o’ their own an’ give ’em a good send-off in life. In the Order, we had lots o’ games to play, games like ‘Find the Shoggoth’ an’ ‘Bamboozle the Byakhee’ an’ ‘Present to the Great Old Ones,’ things that was lots o’ fun but also taught us our social manners amongst members o’ the Order, an’ give us good starts on learnin’ to hunt an’ fish an’ other things that’d be necessary to survival if’n the worst happened an’ civilization went tits up.
“You know, there was a lot o’ good things about the Order o’ the Sun at Midnight, my grandmother notwithstandin’ – she was just one o’ those aberrations that occur in any large community, not really representative o’ the general run o’ members. One o’ the things that was good about it had to do with what you might call a total lack o’ bigotry. Even when I was very young I was very impressed with the diff’rences between members o’ the Order an’ people outside it was on average when it come to prejudices an’ worse. Children can tell right away if’n something in a given situation is very wrong – or very right. One of ’em has to do with fair vs. unfair. The Order was racially, ethnically, and sexually completely egalitarian. There was plenty o’ women high up in its hierarchy, no more’n no less’n the menfolk was, an’ the same went for its plethora of ethnic backgrounds – white, black, Hispanic, American Indian, Polynesian, an’ ever’thin’ else, from every nation an’ people in the world. Within the Order, treatment o’ members by members was in the main very fair. I always wished that the rest o’ the world was more like the Order in that regard – a lot more. So much terrible evil stems from bigotry, an’ in that way the Order was light-years beyond almost all strictly human civilizations, which’ve made much o’ little to wreak horror on other people whose diff’rences from ’em was so small as to be negligible. Mebbe that comes from our Neolithic heritage, when the people o’ Cain had to work themselves into a killin’ rage usin’ trivialities an’ fancies so’s they could make war effectively on the people of Abel an’ grab all that lovely land that the Paleolithic people had to live on for themselves.”
“How did the Order view our world, then, Monty?” I asked.
[Continued in "The Outsiders"]
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2019.07.31 13:12 JuniperPublishers-GJ Geology and Climate Relating to Archaeological Water Management in Jordan- Juniper Publishers

Geology and Climate Relating to Archaeological Water Management in Jordan- Juniper Publishers

All questions concerning water management in Jordan through time must begin with the ways in which water becomes naturally available in the environment, and this depends crucially on the two interlinked factors of geology and climate. Although these are natural factors, they may also be affected by human activity, to produce changes that are both planned and unplanned. It must be said that studies which consider anthropogenic impacts on, for example, soils in Jordan are just at the beginning. To date it is still hard to separate out long-term, short-term and medium-term changes and to ascribe these with certainty to either natural fluctuations or human activities. In many cases the way the landscape has changed at a micro-regional level must be to do with a complex interplay of natural and cultural factors. This paper presents an overview of the geology of Jordan as currently understood, a description of the modern climatic regime, a summary of the limited amount of paleoclimatic data we have and concludes with a discussion of the implications for research on the archaeology of water management.
Introduction
Much of the principal evidence in this research involves the identification and interpretation of obvious interventions into hard geology, taking the form of excavated wells, cisterns and channels. At a local level, it is also possible to see how walls, by damming up or slowing down rainwater, have influenced slope wash and thus the way soils have been eroded or sedimented up. Geology plays an important role in whether wells can be dug and where; it is also crucial for determining whether a well can be dug relatively shallowly or needs to be extremely deep (the deepest prehistoric well in the overall region being the probably Bronze Age example at Lachish in Palestine at 76m: Withe & Shqiarat [1,2]. In short, geology, therefore, is more likely to account for differences in the number of wells in a locality than any personal preference or technical skill when different settlements and urban centres are compared [3-5].

Basic Geological Structure

The modern state of Jordan covers an area of approximately 90,000 km2 and is located at the north-western edge of the Nubo-Arabian plate. It has a predominantly limestone geology, with surface flint pebbles, but this gives way to basalt in the north and granite in the south. The south also includes the distinctive canyoned sandstone zone in which the famous archaeological remains of the Nabataean city of Petra are found. Topographically, the western border with Palestine is formed by the rift valley of the river Jordan, the Wadi Araba and the Dead Sea. This rift is bounded to the east by the long line of the Jabal As-Sarah Mountains. Beyond this is a broad plateau which eventually gives way to the desert bordering Iraq in the northeast and slopes gently down toward the synclinal depression of Saudi Arabia in the east and south. Rivers in this region are seasonal wadi systems, which contain water only in winter. The central limestone region is karstic and displays a typical changeability in relation to the locations of active springs and streams as the underlying geology is actively remodelled. The climate is predominantly East Mediterranean in nature. The north of the country receives adequate rainfall, while the south has a more arid regime. Soils are varied and Jordan can be divided into four main vegetation zones. It is impossible to understand water management issues in Jordan in the past or present without a detailed understanding of geology, soils and climate, and how aspects of these may have changed over time, in response to long-term natural environmental fluctuations, the constant volatility of the karst zone, and medium and short term anthropogenic impacts [6].
Many geologists have worked on the geology of Jordan, such as Blankenhorn, Quennell, Burden, Wetzel & Morton, Bender & [7-10]. The Natural Resources Authority (NRA) is currently carrying out a detailed map of Jordan on a scale of 1:50000 and tables shows the stratigraphical sub divisions of Jordan, which covers the age from Precambrian to recent times. The geological structure of Jordan is well known as a result of work by Bender, Quennel, Burden & Parker [7,9,11,12] and others. Although more recent investigation and drilling has assisted in defining and revealed significant new structural trends which were not identified by the earlier studies, such mapping in not generally available. It has thus not been possible to map the major casestudy sites discussed in this thesis against a detailed geological background. Figure 1 reproduces Bender’s general scheme with the major case study sites superimposed.
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Regionally, the structure of the study area is affected by the presence of the Nubo-Arabian Shield and the formation of the Wadi Araba-Jordan Rift. The southern part of Jordan is the northern rim of the Nubo-Arabian Shield, which is built up of crystalline rocks representing the base to the Precambrian age. The crystalline rocks represent the base of the sedimentary formation of the Arabian Peninsula [9]. The Wadi Araba- Jordan Rift forms a 360km long section of the East Africa-North Syrian Fault system. A system is recognisable over 6000km. The structural pattern, as seen in exposures on the east side of the rift, and the morphology of the surface of the Precambrian Basement complex suggest that a structural zone of weakness (geosuture) already existed at the end of the Precambrian periods. The occurrences of late Proterozoic Cambrian quartz porphyry volcanism in the southern Wadi Araba, the thickness and facies changes in the sedimentary successions from Araba, and the thickness and facies changes in the sedimentary successions from the Cambrian to the Lower Tertiary, indicate the continued tectonic activity of the geosuture. However, the Nubo-Arabian Shield in Southern Jordan plunges regionally to the north and north-east. Epi-erogenic movements affected the Palaeozoic strata in southern Jordan, resulting in the gentle regional dip of these strata to the north and northeast. The Palaesozoic formations were, in part, eroded before the deposition of lower cretaceous clastic rocks. Therefore, from west to east in south Jordan, the lower cretaceous rocks overlie, with angular unconformity, progressively younger Palaeozoic rock units that range in age from Cambrian in the west to upper Silurian in the east.
The taphrogenic structural movements that initiated the formation of the present rift apparently occurred along the preexisting geosuture and started during the late Eocene-Oligocene periods. In the late Oligocene-Miocene periods, the Jordan block was subjected to uplifting movements resulting in continental erosion and locally continental deposition of syntectonic conglomerates in some places in the southern part of the rift. Major Taphrogenic movements restarted in the Pliocene- Pleistocene periods and continued during several intra- Plesistocene phases associated with the wide-spread basalt volcanism of the Middle Pleistocene age. The post Oligocene taphrogenic structural movements were mostly of dip slip type. Only minor local movements of tangential compression and lateral displacement have been observed. Quennell and Freund believed that major strike slip displacement had occurred along the rift of the order of 70km to more than 100km, but this idea was not supported by Bender & Madler [13].
Taphrogenic movement in the rift strongly affected the area bordering the rift, chiefly along north-west, north-northeast striking normal faults, antithetic and flexures of minor displacements occur in the area. A few small anticlines in Central and Southern Jordan, such as at Thunah, northwest of Ma’an can be explained by tangential compression. The pattern of dominant block faults in central and southern Jordan gradually changes northwards into another structural pattern in north Jordan, where up warping and tilting becomes a common feature with faulting. However, the relatively thin and dominantly competent beds in the south, reacted to structural stresses by fracturing and faulting, whereas the thicker and more incompetent beds in the north reacted to the same stresses by arching, tilting and flexuring, for example, the northwest striking anticlinal trend of Jabal Safra, southeast of Amman, the uplift of Suweileh northwest of Amman, and the up warp of Ajlun.

Structural Features in Jordan

The main structural features in Jordan are the Jordan valley, the Wadi Araba Rift Valley, and the folds and synsedimentary structures in the Sirhan and Azraq basins. The faults in Jordan are normal and extend northwest (e.g. the El-Hasa and El Karak faults). The main structure is the Wadi Shueib structure which extends north east folds and converts to flexure in the Baq’a area [14]. The Amman Hallabat fold structure appears north of Na’ur and extends eastwards passing, the southern part of Amman [15]. The southern part of Jordan is considered part of the Gulf of Aqaba-Dead Sea transform fault system, and as a complex structural feature, which comprises the Gulf of Aqaba, the Wadi Araba, the Dead Sea and the Jordan valley [16]. The Gulf of Aqaba-Dead Sea structure, however, is described in terms of plate tectonic theory as a transform type of fault where sinistral movement took place between the Arabian Plate and the Sinai- Palestine Plate [17]. A sinistral movement along the Gulf of Aqaba-Dead Sea transform took place during several phases of movement in the Neogene age [18].
The total thickness of all post-Proterozoic sedimentary rock is generally 2000-3000m. The Nubo-Arabian shield, which is of Precambrian date is exposed in south-western Jordan and extends under most of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. It is characterised by Precambrian plutonic and metamorphic rocks and some minor occurrences of Upper Proterozoic sedimentary rocks, which is known as the Precambrian basement complex. The Precambrian basement complex has repeatedly moved up and down during epillarsogenic activities ranging in age from Cambrian to early Tertiary. These movements resulted in several marine transgressions and regressions of the Tethys Sea, which lay to the west and northwest, over part, or all of Jordan. The basement complex produced the material from which, during certain periods, continental sediments were deposited in the Tethys Sea. During the transgressions, marine sediments of considerable thickness were laid down. Inland of the transgression coastlines, and during intervals of regression, terrestrial deposits accumulated: these consist mainly of sandstone of the Nubian facies with no or few fossils. This pattern of regressions and transgressions explains the pattern of the different lithofacies-marine calcareous, marine sandy and continental sandy- of Cambrian, Ordovician and Silurian sandstone and shale of continental and marine origin, which, unconformably overlie the rocks of the Precambrian basement complex. The rock units, gently dipping towards the north and northeast become overlain by a succession of younger marine sediments, which are mostly made of carbonate of Upper Cretaceous to Eocene in age.
Regionally, the marine influences on the deposition increase toward the north and west during the transgressive intervals of the Middle Cambrian, Early Ordovician, Early and Middle Triassic, Middle Jurassic and Middle Cretaceous to Oligocene times. Different shorelines have been formed due to these successive transgressions. The sedimentary belt in Jordan, results from the sepillarsogenetic movement that was repeated several times from Cambrian to tertiary times and resulted in a series of marine transgressions and regressions of shallow, Sepicontinental Sea (Tethys Sea). The sedimentary rocks cover wide areas of Jordan.

Soil and Vegetation Cover

Soils

Investigations of Jordanian soils, carried out by many workers, have been summarised by Bender & Aresvik [19], but it has unfortunately not been possible to locate a map showing the spatial distribution of Jordanian soils from any published sources known to the present author. gives a description of soil types as summarised by them. Red Mediterranean soil covers extensive areas along the high lands east of the rift from Ajlun, via Madaba, Karak and Tafliah, as far as Shawbak. It has been noticed in the eastern part of Tafliah sheet and is used for agriculture. The soil is red to brown in colour as a result of the iron oxide content. The thickness of the soil ranges from 0.7m to 1.5m and is Holocene (recent) in age [2].
Soil and vegetation cover are indicators of the quantity of precipitation, temperature and altitude. They change from grey lowland desertic soil, with perennial shrubs developed in areas with less than 150mm mean annual rainfall, to brown soils with a complete cover of perennial shrubs and grasses in areas having a mean annual rainfall of 150-300mm. Further to the west and along the Western Highlands, as the altitude and precipitation increases and temperatures decrease, red and yellow Mediterranean soils with mountain forest are developed in areas where the mean annual rainfall exceeds 300mm. Other smaller biotic communities grow where hydrologic conditions are favourable. The most prevalent is the dense growth of phreaphytes commonly found along perennial and intermittent stream courses. In some areas, azonal soils are developed, such as the weathered basalt in the northeast, the saline soils in the topographic depressions (in Azraq, Hasa and Jafer), alluvial soils and regosols formed from recently deposited detrital materials, and lithosols - thinly covered consolidated rocks such as basalt flows.

Vegetation

The distribution of vegetation in Jordan follows the variations in the amount of precipitation. Where there are enough precipitation forests exist. Where there is little rain there is steppe and where there is no rain there is desert. The rain is not the only factor controlling the distribution of the vegetation cover: soil, geology, underground water and differences in temperature play an important role. In the higher parts of the upland regions, where the rainfall is more than 300mm, the vegetation is of distinctly Mediterranean type, with forests of pines and other varieties, for instance oak and bushes. Due to overgrazing, agriculture and firewood cutting, the forest areas have shrunk to a narrow discontinuous strip along the eastern escarpment of the Rift Valley and, occasionally, to patches on top of the highlands. This forest has been destroyed over the centuries, for fuel, agriculture and grazing [20].
In the steppe region the climate is more continental than Mediterranean. Rainfall varies between 150mm and 300mm and, generally, the plant cover is grass and Artemisia, especially where soils are relatively stable. In the desert region rainfall is generally below 100mm. The vegetation is extremely poor in both variety and density, except in wadi bottoms, channels and depressions. In the sandy desert, such extensive bare surfaces are not common but, in between the individual shrubs, the grounds are quite bare of vegetation: occasionally a few short annual grasses are found. Between the steppe and desert regions there is a broad transitional zone, linked to steadily decreasing precipitation levels [19].

Climatic Overview

Most writers agree that the general climatic conditions prevalent in all parts of the Levant today emerged during the Early Bronze Age II and III 3000-2400BC [21]. The climate in Jordan can be divided into two major types: the Mediterranean type on the Western Highlands and the semi-arid to arid type on most of the Central Plateau and Eastern Desert. The climate is characterised by cold winters and hot dry summers. January is the coldest month and August is the hottest. Average annual temperatures range from about 13 °C in some high mountainous areas to about 18.7 °C in the lowlands and the extreme southeastern area. Temperatures are subject to large daily and seasonal fluctuations. Monthly temperatures vary between 5 and 25 °C. Large variations in temperature also occur within short distances due to topography.
Rainfall is primarily controlled by the Eastern Europe and Western Mediterranean cold fronts, which are drawn by the Eastern Mediterranean low-pressure system. Rainfall in the study area is seasonal, occurring in the period October to May with the highest fall in December and January. Rainfall outside this period would be an extremely rare event. Precipitation generally decreases from west to east and from north to south. However, this pattern changes locally in some areas owing to orographic effects over the high elevations of the Western Highlands. The mean annual precipitation decreases from about 600mm/a in the northern Western Highlands to less than 50mm/a in the south-eastern desert. However, in the eastern and south-eastern deserts, extended periods of no rain and periods of flooding are not unusual (Figure 2).
Latitude is the main determining factor of climatic zones. The latitude of a place, together with its elevation and relation to surrounding relief, determines the light and heat received from the sun. In the tropics, the intensity of insulation is greater than at other latitudes because the sun’s rays fall vertically on the surface of the earth, so that a bundle of rays of a given wide is spread over the minimum possible area and has the shortest possible passage through the atmosphere. The inclination angle of radiation, absorption and the long of night and day also vary in relation to latitude, whereas inclination angle of radiation decreases with latitude. Therefore, light and heat decrease pole wards. In summer, the duration of sunlight increases with increasing latitude and decreases in winter. Thus, in summer, the low intensity of insolation in high latitudes is partly offset by the greater long of day up to 43 30 °N, where maximum insolation is reached.
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Because of the low angle of the sun between the latitudes of 43 30° and 62 °N, the amount of insolation decreases to a minimum at the latitude (62 °N), the length of day increases rapidly until, at the Arctic Circle, it is 24 hours long. Beyond the Arctic Circle to 23° 30° at the pole. Also, annual ranges of temperature, radiation and the long of night and day increase with increasing latitude. At the Equator the day is 12 hours long throughout the year. Day long increases with increasing latitude until, at the poles, there is six months of day followed by six months of night. At the equator, the amount of insolation received varies little throughout the year, for the range of the long of day is close to zero. At midsummer, north and south of the equator, insolation is greater both at the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn than it ever is at the equator, for the duration is longer and the intensity is just as great, the sun being directly overhead [22]. Furthermore, in the Tropics there are fewer clouds than over the equator on most days of the year. Therefore, zones at about 20° north and south in summer receive the greatest insolation on the earth [23] As a result; the extremely hot and dry deserts of the world are within the tropical and sub-tropical zone. Cyclones of mostly Mediterranean origin usually start affecting Jordan in mid- October or early November and dominate the weather until late April [24].
Jordan lies within the Mediterranean bioclimatic region of semi-arid to arid type [25,26]. The essential features of this climate are dry, hot summers and cool winters. The climate regime is determined by the interaction of two major atmospheric circulation patterns. During the winter, the temperate latitude climatic belt prevails, and moist cool air moves eastward from the Mediterranean. In the summer, the subtropical high-pressure belt of dry air causes relatively high temperatures and no rainfall. Weather parameters such as atmospheric temperature variations, air pressure and relative humidity. Jordan is part of the eastern Mediterranean weather system and has a climate with distinct seasons in different areas of the country, including wet and cool-to-cold, with occasional snowstorms. In the highlands there are often temperatures several degrees centigrade high than in the range of hills overlooking the valley to the north. There are marked seasonal contrasts, however: summers are dry and warm-to-hot and winters are wet and coolto- cold, with occasional snowstorms. In the highlands, there are often strong, cool breezes on summer nights and low-lying areas enjoy pleasant, moderately cool winters.
January is the coldest month and, although belowfreezing temperatures are not unknown, the average winter temperature is above 7.2 °C. The hottest month is August, when temperatures may reach 48.9 °C in the Jordan valley. In Amman, the average summer temperature is a pleasant 25.6 °C. Rainfall is mostly during the winter months and ranges from 660mm in the northwest to less than 127mm in the east of the region [24,27,28]. The climatic features of the area can be described by considering north-south and west-east trends. The climate in the northern and western mountainous areas is Mediterranean but, moving eastward, there is a rapid change to semi-arid and arid types, as the influence of the Mediterranean Sea is replaced by that of the continental land mass, causing a decrease in rainfall and an increase in the temperature range. Farther to the southeast, in the El Jafr Basin, the climate has been classified as arid or as a Mediterranean Saharian climate of the warm variety [25]. Additionally, there is a marked secondary influence of topography upon the climatic parameters throughout the country.
The relative humidity in the Ghor varies from 70% in winter to less than 50% in summer while, in the eastern plateau, the variation is from 75% to 35%. Dew originates from the cooler winds of the Mediterranean and occurs in summer, gives beneficial moisture supplying to summer crops grown under dry farming conditions [19]. In the Wadi Araba, there is no indication that the climate has ever been other than semi-arid within recent times, but it is reasonable to suppose some variation within the semi-arid range, and that at different times the streams have flowed more strongly, and further than at present. In the Wadi Araba, the present rainfall is estimated at between 50mm in a dry year and 150mm in wet year, a falling mainly between November and April [29].

Climatic Zones

Jordan can be divided into three physiographic regions, each with a distinct climate
a. The highlands comprise mountainous and hilly regions that run through Jordan from north to south. Several valleys and riverbeds intersect the highlands, such as Wadi Mujib, Wadi Hassa and Wadi Zarqa, all of which eventually flow into the Jordan River, the Rift valley or the Dead Sea. The highlands are by no means uniform. Their altitude varies from 600 to 1600 metres (1969-5249 feet) above sea level and the climate, although generally wet and cool, also varies from one area to another. It is in the highlands that we find the major remains of ancient civilisation in the cities of Petra, Jerash, Philadelphia (Amman), Madaba, Gadara (Umm Qais) and Karak. For much the same reasons, abundance of water and strategic location, the highlands are the most densely populated areas today.
b. West of the highlands is the Jordan Rift Valley, which runs along the entire length of Jordan. The Rift Valley plunges to over 400m (1312 feet) below sea level at the Dead Sea, becoming the lowest spot on earth, and reaches a minimum wide of 15 kilometres. The Rift Valley encompasses the Jordan (the Ghor in Arabic), the Dead Sea, Wadi Araba and Aqaba. The Rift Valley is rich in water resources, including thermal mineral water. Therapeutic treatment is available at Zarqa Mai’n, a deep gorge close to the Dead Sea with over 60 mineral springs. The Valley is rich in agricultural land and is warm throughout the year.
c. The desert region in east Jordan is an extension of the Arabian Desert; it is a semi-arid, steppe-like region in which small plants survive in winter and spring.
There is extreme variation in the climate of the desert between day and night, and between summer and winter. Summer temperatures can exceed 40 degrees Celsius, while winter nights can be bitterly cold, dry and windy [28].

Effects of Water Bodies

Next to the variation of insulation with latitude, the distribution of land water on the earth is the most important factor affecting climate. Water conserves more heat than land: being slower to warm up and slower to cool down it has a moderating influence on temperature [22]. So, temperature ranges in Jordan increase with increasing distance inland, in parallel with increasing continentality. The nearest large body of water which affects the climate of Jordan is the Mediterranean Sea. Both land masses and water bodies affect the climate of the Jordan, but the landmasses have a much bigger influence than the water bodies. Consequently, the climate of Jordan is characteristically an arid, continental climate: it is dry and hot, with a large temperature range between day and night, and between summer and winter, especially in the Jordan Valley, the Aqaba Region, and wet and cool-to-cold in the highlands [30,31].
The most stable season in Jordan is summer. The following major changes occur in the pressure fields over the eastern Mediterranean due to the intensive heating of landmasses. First, a centre of high-pressure forms over the Mediterranean. Then a low-pressure region develops during the summer months and extends from North Africa to Pakistan and India through the Arabian Peninsula and Indian Oceans. This huge low-pressure belt brings the eastern Mediterranean within the monsoon belt of southern Asia and invites hot and dry northerly continental tropical air masses from the high-pressure centres over Mesopotamia, Asia Minor and the lowland around the Caspian Sea. Two centres of low-pressure cut-off are formed over the northern Red Sea and Saudi Arabia. The hot winds blow from the Rub-al-Khali (the Empty Quarter, bringing occasional invasions of very hot air masses, which raise the temperature to very high levels and cause heat waves [24].
In winter, meridional circulation of the upper air over the eastern Mediterranean is related to the differential heating between the warm waters of the Mediterranean and the cold landmasses of southern Europe and the Atlas Mountains. Deep upper air troughs are correlated with the invasion of the region by cold polar air masses. When a sonal circulation prevails, waves form over the Mediterranean and move rapidly toward the east causing light rainfall and near average temperatures. The main features of the pressure distribution during the winter are that, over the Arabian Peninsula, Armenia, Turkey and northern Iraq, high-pressure centres develop. The thermal difference between the Mediterranean waters and the land masses lying to the north and south then causes low pressure centres to develop over the central and eastern Mediterranean, and the Azores highpressure centre extends to the areas lying south of the Atlas Mountains [24].
The eastern Mediterranean is invaded by different types of air masses including cold arctic air masses and cold polar air masses, which are usually associated with anticyclones or ridges of high pressure. Especially in autumn and spring there are continental tropical air masses, which come from North Africa. In winter, the Mediterranean is occupied by one of the normal frontal zones in which disturbances frequently develop and move eastward. Frontogenesis relates to the sharp contrast in temperature and humidity between continental tropical air masses and the cold polar air masses. Short fluctuations of low temperature which occur in Jordan during the winter are usually associated with cold fronts, but severe outbreaks of cold weather are caused by cold pools and cold lows.
The weather in Jordan and other eastern Mediterranean countries is dominated in winter by a series of depressions, which move along the Mediterranean front from west or southwest to east and northeast. Most Mediterranean depressions form as lee or wave depressions over the Mediterranean [24]. The general conditions favouring cyclogenesis are the existence of a baroclinic or frontal zone, air convergence on the leeward slopes of the Alps and instability of air masses. The Mediterranean depressions may be grouped according to their areas of formation and include depressions of the western Mediterranean basin, which are usually called ‘Genoa depressions’ and which do not usually reach the eastern Mediterranean and therefore have no effect upon the climate of Jordan. Khamasin depressions are frequently called Saharan depressions because they form in the area south of the Atlas Mountains and move along the southern shores of the Mediterranean. Most of these depressions, which account for 18 per cent of the Mediterranean depressions, occur during the spring. Depressions of the central and eastern Mediterranean sometimes form in the northern Ionian Sea, the southern Aegean Sea and the region of Cyprus, but the formation of new depressions in this area is rare and what is more common is the rejuvenation of old weak depressions, especially in the neighbourhood of Cyprus.
Most depressions in the eastern Mediterranean move along three main tracks with an annual average of 10.5 depressions moving to the northeast through northern Syria and southern Turkey. Eleven depressions move annually to the east and a few of them reach northern Iraq, with an average of 1.5 depressions moving to the southeast. The decreasing number of cyclones moving in southern tracks explains the decrease of annual rainfall in Jordan from north to south [24]. In winter, the climate of Jordan is influenced more by conditions in the Mediterranean. The main sources of rainfall for the country are the Mediterranean Sea in winter and the monsoon in summer. The influence of the Mediterranean Sea on the climate of Jordan decreases towards the south and north. Cyclones from the Mediterranean may bring winter rains as far south as 20 N°.

Effects of Mountain Bodies

Mountain ranges are important climatic factors because they interfere with the flow of air. A mountain range restricts the influence of the seas, acting as a barrier to the inland passage of moist air. There are differences in the annual and diurnal variations of temperatures between maritimeinfluenced regions, and regions on the lee of mountain barriers which are sheltered from maritime influences. Furthermore, it is known that temperature decreases, and rainfall increases with increasing altitude. Therefore, the As-Sarah Mountains (Shawbak, Ajlun and Negeb), which run parallel to the Red Sea, are affected by maritime influences, which bring rain, much more than the low areas located to the east and west of the mountain ranges, or even the coastal plain which runs parallel between the Dead Sea and As-Sarah mountains. At the same time, these mountain ranges restrict marine influences on a short distance from the coastline [32]. As a result, rainfall in the mountains falls mainly on the As-Sarah Mountains, and little falls over the northern plateau and the coastal plain, Also, the daily and yearly temperature ranges, which give an indication of the degree of continentally of the climate in the northern plateau areas, are larger than those in the mountain ranges and coastal plain. There are no other important mountain ranges in the country that affect the climate. However, because the country is small, some local variations occur, especially between the southern and northern regions

The Biogeographical Regions in Jordan

Long [25] divided Jordan into nine bioclimatic regions, based on the analysis of climatic data from twenty-four stations in Eastern Jordan. Al-Eisawi [33] followed the same method as long. The climatic, rainfall and temperature of data thirty-one stations between 1966 and 1980 was analysed and the distribution of the resulting bioclimatic zones. Among the studied stations are Shawbak (close to Petra). This is considered to lie in a semi-arid Mediterranean bioclimatic zone of cool variety.

Conclusion

The distribution of the archaeological sites in Jordan has been affected by climate change throughout the history of the area. The data obtained from the Jordan Antiquity Information System (JADIS) demonstrates that the number of archaeological sites in Jordan increased during wet periods but declined during dry ones. Previous site occupation, soil fertility and proximity to water are the physical characteristics of the reoccupied sites, even during unfavourable climatic episodes. The prehistoric people who inhabited Jordan responded to climate changes through migration to these favourable sites.
In his chapter ‘Climatic Changes in Jordan through Time’ in the Archaeology of Jordan volume (which he co-edited) Burton MacDonald writes that: “A wetter phase is one of the explanations for the occurrences of widespread silts from Qadesh Barnea in the south to the central Shephela region in the north, during the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods, that is, between roughly 1600 and 600 Bp [34,35]. The widespread silts, however, could have been caused by the influence of human activity on the landscape in the form, for example, of deforestation and over-grazing. Archaeology supports the hypothesis of a wetter climate since the area was densely occupied by large Byzantine settlements. It is hard to envisage how such a large population could survive under the regime of today’s arid conditions.
There is a circular element to this argument, and it could be argued that MacDonald’s assumption is possible based on under appreciation of the sophistication of Nabataean and Roman- Byzantine water management systems. What is clear from this, however, is that lack of good quality data on climate change means that understanding changing water management patterns fully remains difficult. MacDonald & Goldberg [34] recognizes that independent verification of his hypothesis is needed using techniques such as palynology. In general, it must be accepted that the prehistoric people who inhabited Jordan responded to climate changes through migration to more favourable areas both within and outside what now constitute the borders of modern-day Jordan. The Dead Sea levels, presented by Frumkin [36] as indicators of paleoclimate in the area, match the number and distribution of archaeological sites in Jordan during the same periods. One could argue that site reoccupation in prehistory has a positive relationship to moist climate conditions and could be used as paleoclimatic indicators in the absence of chemical and isotopic analyses. The variations in the local climate of Jordan motivated early settlers to reside in, and occupy, the areas of north and middle Jordan. Access to water resources was a major factor in site distribution in Jordan and encouraged reoccupation even in dry periods.
The study by Frumkin & Carmi [37] did not focus on seasonal climate variations and human adaptation to such variations; further studies in the area are needed in order to have a complete picture of the seasonal climate throughout the prehistory of Jordan. In the North African climate, following a wet phase from 40,000 and 20,000 BC, with the last major pluvial at 6,000 BC and significant climatic change between 4,000-2,000 BC there has not been substantial climatic change since 2,000 BC. In general, we might expect that Jordan follows the North African pattern, with no major climate changes during the period under study here (later prehistoric through to present). It has been postulated that the region experienced a slightly moister environment at one or two points during the classical period [36,38]. However, these scholars are rather unspecific about the data they use to support this suggestion and are not exact in defining precise chronological units. Much more work needs to be undertaken before a clearer assessment can be made and the implications for core and peripheral regions of Jordan deduced.
Gaining higher-quality paleoclimatic data is an important future research objective because, even if there were no major shifts in the last four millennia, even minor shifts can have major effects on what is possible or impossible in subsistence terms. In short, if water management technology is sophisticated, then a lot of extra benefit can be derived from even minor increases in precipitation. One could argue that the pattern of the spatial and temporal distribution of archaeological sites in Jordan might have been determined by climate, but without adequate supporting data this can only be a supposition. One of the most impressive revelations concerning ancient water supply and management has been the important role which geological terrain, particularly karst, played in the ability to access and utilise available water. The volatility or dynamism of the limestone karst landscape has been described above, and the water-created subsurface tunnelling, caverns, sinkholes, and springs, have always been relatively easy to discern. To date, however, relatively little archaeological work has been done in these contexts. In general, similar water-management structures - wells, cisterns, aqueducts, etc - are found on the sandstone as on the limestone regions of Jordan, while absent from the basaltic formations of the north - the earthquake zone.
Karst is the prevailing geology throughout much of the Mediterranean region and played an important role in the water supply of numerous cities in Antiquity. Dora Crouch presents clear evidence that most, if not all, Greek cites were established either on or near karst terrain [39], while Dan Gill’s recent article about Hezekiah’s Tunnel in Jerusalem clearly demonstrates that naturally-created the tunnels and shafts were enlarged deliberately in order to channel more valley water to city [40]. Thus, it seems that people utilised karst terrain to their advantage throughout the Mediterranean. While nature provided the basics for a well-watered site, it was still up to the humans who inhabited the area to develop and utilise the water in the ways they desired [41-43].
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2019.05.27 19:35 Gutsick_Gibbon Coral and Coral Reefs Preclude a Global Flood and Young Earth Creationism

Today's subject is that of the one of the most basal organisms on our planet, and it is capable on it's own of disrupting the possibility of a global flood as well as a 6000 year old Earth. It also validates Evolutionary Theory and the currently listed mass extinctions.
It may be a simple cnidarian, but we'll explore just how damaging this animal is to a literalist interpretation of the Bible.
Part 1: The Crash Course on Corals
Corals are marine invertebrates of the phylum Cnidaria. They are sessile, meaning they lack a means of locomotion, and individual corals (polyps) form coral groups known as colonies, whose polyps are thus genetically identical. They reproduce primarily sexually though, and coral colonies will release gametes into open water simultaneously according to the lunar cycle.
As such, coral reefs are made of many coral colonies which many vary on species, but all of which grow upwards and outwards asexually. In the case of stony coral (as opposed to the other type, soft coral) their immense skeleton is made of calcium carbonate in the form of calcite or aragonite (both polymorphs of limestone).
Coral reefs are interesting though, due to their nature of growth. As coral reefs proliferate, coral groups die and are replaced by new polyps. This leads to a continuous growth of new coral colonies on the dead skeletons of their colonial fore-bearers.
In fact, the largest reefs on our planet are living coral groups on thousands of years of dead coral groups including the Great Barrier Reef.
The coral type we are going to investigate here is that of large stony corals (scleractinian) which build shallow-water coral reefs, including fringing reefs, barrier reefs and atolls; the majority of which occur in tropical and subtropical seas. This is because these particular corals are not only incredibly common, but they are of interest thanks to their abysmally slow growth rate adding an average of 0.2-1.0 inches per year to the overall height of the reef.
According to this same source corals have ideal growing conditions that apply generally across the board: " Coral reefs grow best in warm water (70–85° F or 21–29° C). Corals prefer clear and shallow water, where lots of sunlight filters through to their symbiotic algae. It is possible to find corals at depths of up to 300 feet (91 meters), but reef-building corals grow poorly below 60–90 feet (18–27 meters). Corals need salt water to survive, so they grow poorly near river openings or coastal areas with excessive runoff."
All of the following will be important to remember and refer to for the following analysis.
Part 2: A History of Corals
Geologically, we first see corals appear in Cambrian rock, although their record really begins to bloom in the Ordovician. Here we see the rise of the incredibly prolific Rugose Corals.
They are represented heavily in the Thorton Reef in Illinois at the Silurian Racine Formation, where ancient reef cavities are filled with thick oil, and layering is interspersed. The Devonian Tract in Alberta is similar.
These corals no longer exist today, as they were wiped out in the Permian, leaving an enormous void in the fossil record. But shortly after in the Triassic the scleractinian corals arrive on the scene, and become the dominant corals we see today.
This is important: Prior to the extinction of the Rugose corals, we never see a scleractinian specimen in the fossil record. It isn't until the rugose niche opens up that the scleractinians can diversify into their spots. This is not to say that scleractians did not exist before the Triassic, but rather, they were represented by much fewer species due to competition with the rugose corals. In fact, current molecular data suggests that scleractinians were out and about deep in the Paleozoic, but their radiation was choked by the sheer success of the rugose species.
The shoe would be on the other foot though, as the anoxic conditions that obliterated the rugose corals could not squelch the scleractinians, who had been quietly subsisting in the background. They would explode in diversity in the Mid-Triassic once a symbiotic relationship with algae was developed.
Part 3: Corals Confound Creationists
So hopefully you're already seeing the problems, but let's point them out and dive in a bit more.
Rugose Coral Reefs bust up a Global Flood AND a Young Earth
Flood Geology generally has the first layer of the flood deposits as that which overlays the basement granite of our planet, or layers corresponding to the Pre-Cambrian. In the context of the Grand Canyon, this would be the Grand Canyon Supergroup as the first.
Now, as we mentioned above, Thorton Reef is a Silurian Reef, and the Silurian begins some 443 MYA. This is certainly smack-dab in the middle of the Flood Layers.
Thorton Reef is a remarkably intact reef, with incredibly preserved brittle coral heads, crinoid fossils and other fragile organisms. But it is located in a layer that would have been deposited in the very heat of what is considered by Creationists as the most powerful natural disaster of all time.
But somehow we are expected to accept an enormous global flood that instantly buried some organisms, and tore other apart (depending on the state of the fossil examined), raged for months without burying an enormous reef, and then, midway through, covered it instantly without it's earthshaking power obliterating all the fragile bits.
The Rugose corals too are slow growers and make up an enormous tract of land in the Devonian formation in Alberta: "...the Upper Devonian Swan Hills Formation of the Beaverhill Lake Group. Kaybob reef is a flat north-south elongate lens, 250 ft thick, 11 mi long, and 3 mi wide, built on the Slave Point Formation, a widespread platform carbonate."
It is far too large to have formed in less than 3000 years from Creation to the Flood, even using the most liberal Creation date by YEC's of 10,000 years.
Add to this the trouble of the flood wiping out all corals, due to their requirements clear shallow water and low turbidity (rugose corals are shown to require these as well, given the shaping of the Thornton Reef) and all current reefs then having a maximum age of 4319 years (presuming the flood was in 2300 BCE)
And Modern Corals do the Same.
Take the Enewetok atoll. This atoll was cored many decades ago, and indicated that it is an enormous coral reef growing on volcanic rock. As the volcanic rock sunk (as some do) the coral was forced to grow upwards in order to maintain proper conditions. This is similar to how trees grow towards sunlight. And it created a massive slab of coral around 1380 meters thick, nearly a mile. The deepest parts were so old, that the aragonite skeletons of the coral were geochemically converted to dolomite.
Let's give Creationists the best possible scenario and assume all these corals are growing at the fastest known coral growth rate of 8 inches per year. To be clear, we know that these corals abide by the far more common growth rate of 0.1-1.0 inches per year, but we're being generous.
A depth of 4540.8 feet X 12 inches / 8 inches per year yields an age of 6811.2 years. nearly 3000 years too old to have begun growing before the flood, and using the most generous possible growth rate, applied to corals who definitively do not grow that quickly.
The more realistic math using these species actual growth rates gives the atoll a minimum age of 138,000 years old, and that is still eliminating any erosional events in the core sample.
Coral Reefs line Enewetok or the Great Barrier Reef are ignored though, or spun to fit the narrative as in this link, where Old Earth Ministries busts YEC authors Snelling and Reed for misrepresentation, or, dishonesty.
Sometimes in an effort to explain this, Creationists invoke that the ancient coral colonies such as Thorton did not grow in one place, but are a result of many colonies that grew in separate places and were transported to a new location by the current, and subsequently buried.
Of course this brings us right back around to the problem of the fragile corals and other organisms, as well as the orientation of the reef itself. If it were carried by strong currents and placed elsewhere it should be heavy-side-down. But the heavy part of the reef, the enormous upward growth, is facing upward as it would if it had never been moved.
And so, Creationists are left with either invoking coral growth faster than ever before seen (which is not empirical) or suggesting physics defying currents, which have also never been seen.
Conclusion/TL;DR
Corals are incredible animals whose appearance, diversification and persistence in the fossil record aligns not with sudden Creation but with Evolutionary Theory given the succession of Rugose corals by Scleractinians. Additionally, their growth rates even at their most generous preclude the traditional YEC timeline both in modern reefs and ancient reefs. This leaves Creationists dealing with the coral issue by ignoring it or invoking never-before-seen physics and biologic concepts.
submitted by Gutsick_Gibbon to CreationEvolution [link] [comments]


2019.05.27 19:34 Gutsick_Gibbon Coral and Coral Reefs Preclude a Global Flood and Young Earth Creationism

Today's subject is that of the one of the most basal organisms on our planet, and it is capable on it's own of disrupting the possibility of a global flood as well as a 6000 year old Earth. It also validates Evolutionary Theory and the currently listed mass extinctions.
It may be a simple cnidarian, but we'll explore just how damaging this animal is to a literalist interpretation of the Bible.
Part 1: The Crash Course on Corals
Corals are marine invertebrates of the phylum Cnidaria. They are sessile, meaning they lack a means of locomotion, and individual corals (polyps) form coral groups known as colonies, whose polyps are thus genetically identical. They reproduce primarily sexually though, and coral colonies will release gametes into open water simultaneously according to the lunar cycle.
As such, coral reefs are made of many coral colonies which many vary on species, but all of which grow upwards and outwards asexually. In the case of stony coral (as opposed to the other type, soft coral) their immense skeleton is made of calcium carbonate in the form of calcite or aragonite (both polymorphs of limestone).
Coral reefs are interesting though, due to their nature of growth. As coral reefs proliferate, coral groups die and are replaced by new polyps. This leads to a continuous growth of new coral colonies on the dead skeletons of their colonial fore-bearers.
In fact, the largest reefs on our planet are living coral groups on thousands of years of dead coral groups including the Great Barrier Reef.
The coral type we are going to investigate here is that of large stony corals (scleractinian) which build shallow-water coral reefs, including fringing reefs, barrier reefs and atolls; the majority of which occur in tropical and subtropical seas. This is because these particular corals are not only incredibly common, but they are of interest thanks to their abysmally slow growth rate adding an average of 0.2-1.0 inches per year to the overall height of the reef.
According to this same source corals have ideal growing conditions that apply generally across the board: " Coral reefs grow best in warm water (70–85° F or 21–29° C). Corals prefer clear and shallow water, where lots of sunlight filters through to their symbiotic algae. It is possible to find corals at depths of up to 300 feet (91 meters), but reef-building corals grow poorly below 60–90 feet (18–27 meters). Corals need salt water to survive, so they grow poorly near river openings or coastal areas with excessive runoff."
All of the following will be important to remember and refer to for the following analysis.
Part 2: A History of Corals
Geologically, we first see corals appear in Cambrian rock, although their record really begins to bloom in the Ordovician. Here we see the rise of the incredibly prolific Rugose Corals.
They are represented heavily in the Thorton Reef in Illinois at the Silurian Racine Formation, where ancient reef cavities are filled with thick oil, and layering is interspersed. The Devonian Tract in Alberta is similar.
These corals no longer exist today, as they were wiped out in the Permian, leaving an enormous void in the fossil record. But shortly after in the Triassic the scleractinian corals arrive on the scene, and become the dominant corals we see today.
This is important: Prior to the extinction of the Rugose corals, we never see a scleractinian specimen in the fossil record. It isn't until the rugose niche opens up that the scleractinians can diversify into their spots. This is not to say that scleractians did not exist before the Triassic, but rather, they were represented by much fewer species due to competition with the rugose corals. In fact, current molecular data suggests that scleractinians were out and about deep in the Paleozoic, but their radiation was choked by the sheer success of the rugose species.
The shoe would be on the other foot though, as the anoxic conditions that obliterated the rugose corals could not squelch the scleractinians, who had been quietly subsisting in the background. They would explode in diversity in the Mid-Triassic once a symbiotic relationship with algae was developed.
Part 3: Corals Confound Creationists
So hopefully you're already seeing the problems, but let's point them out and dive in a bit more.
Rugose Coral Reefs bust up a Global Flood AND a Young Earth
Flood Geology generally has the first layer of the flood deposits as that which overlays the basement granite of our planet, or layers corresponding to the Pre-Cambrian. In the context of the Grand Canyon, this would be the Grand Canyon Supergroup as the first.
Now, as we mentioned above, Thorton Reef is a Silurian Reef, and the Silurian begins some 443 MYA. This is certainly smack-dab in the middle of the Flood Layers.
Thorton Reef is a remarkably intact reef, with incredibly preserved brittle coral heads, crinoid fossils and other fragile organisms. But it is located in a layer that would have been deposited in the very heat of what is considered by Creationists as the most powerful natural disaster of all time.
But somehow we are expected to accept an enormous global flood that instantly buried some organisms, and tore other apart (depending on the state of the fossil examined), raged for months without burying an enormous reef, and then, midway through, covered it instantly without it's earthshaking power obliterating all the fragile bits.
The Rugose corals too are slow growers and make up an enormous tract of land in the Devonian formation in Alberta: "...the Upper Devonian Swan Hills Formation of the Beaverhill Lake Group. Kaybob reef is a flat north-south elongate lens, 250 ft thick, 11 mi long, and 3 mi wide, built on the Slave Point Formation, a widespread platform carbonate."
It is far too large to have formed in less than 3000 years from Creation to the Flood, even using the most liberal Creation date by YEC's of 10,000 years.
Add to this the trouble of the flood wiping out all corals, due to their requirements clear shallow water and low turbidity (rugose corals are shown to require these as well, given the shaping of the Thornton Reef) and all current reefs then having a maximum age of 4319 years (presuming the flood was in 2300 BCE)
And Modern Corals do the Same.
Take the Enewetok atoll. This atoll was cored many decades ago, and indicated that it is an enormous coral reef growing on volcanic rock. As the volcanic rock sunk (as some do) the coral was forced to grow upwards in order to maintain proper conditions. This is similar to how trees grow towards sunlight. And it created a massive slab of coral around 1380 meters thick, nearly a mile. The deepest parts were so old, that the aragonite skeletons of the coral were geochemically converted to dolomite.
Let's give Creationists the best possible scenario and assume all these corals are growing at the fastest known coral growth rate of 8 inches per year. To be clear, we know that these corals abide by the far more common growth rate of 0.1-1.0 inches per year, but we're being generous.
A depth of 4540.8 feet X 12 inches / 8 inches per year yields an age of 6811.2 years. nearly 3000 years too old to have begun growing before the flood, and using the most generous possible growth rate, applied to corals who definitively do not grow that quickly.
The more realistic math using these species actual growth rates gives the atoll a minimum age of 138,000 years old, and that is still eliminating any erosional events in the core sample.
Coral Reefs line Enewetok or the Great Barrier Reef are ignored though, or spun to fit the narrative as in this link, where Old Earth Ministries busts YEC authors Snelling and Reed for misrepresentation, or, dishonesty.
Sometimes in an effort to explain this, Creationists invoke that the ancient coral colonies such as Thorton did not grow in one place, but are a result of many colonies that grew in separate places and were transported to a new location by the current, and subsequently buried.
Of course this brings us right back around to the problem of the fragile corals and other organisms, as well as the orientation of the reef itself. If it were carried by strong currents and placed elsewhere it should be heavy-side-down. But the heavy part of the reef, the enormous upward growth, is facing upward as it would if it had never been moved.
And so, Creationists are left with either invoking coral growth faster than ever before seen (which is not empirical) or suggesting physics defying currents, which have also never been seen.
Conclusion/TL;DR
Corals are incredible animals whose appearance, diversification and persistence in the fossil record aligns not with sudden Creation but with Evolutionary Theory given the succession of Rugose corals by Scleractinians. Additionally, their growth rates even at their most generous preclude the traditional YEC timeline both in modern reefs and ancient reefs. This leaves Creationists dealing with the coral issue by ignoring it or invoking never-before-seen physics and biologic concepts.
submitted by Gutsick_Gibbon to DebateEvolution [link] [comments]


2019.04.22 09:06 Gutsick_Gibbon Transitional Species Handbook: Tetrapods (Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians) are Definitively the Descendants of a Lineage of Pelagic Sarcopterygians (lobe-finned fish)

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Let's talk fish this evening fellow tetrapods!
Tetrapoda is a superclass including all mammals, reptiles (birds as well) and amphibians. This group is considered by mainstream science to have emerged sometime in the Devonian period around 350 to 380 MYA from a line of sarcopterygians, or lobe finned fish. This group includes modern coelacanth and itself is likely an evolutionary lineage descending from the proto-lungfish known as Dipterus.
How do we know this? Are there any criticisms?
The following post will examine the various fossil transitions we have from Eusthenopteron to the Tetrapodomorphs (and Temnospondyls), and examine the YEC criticisms of this lineage.
Part 1: A Fish Called Eusthenopteron
As always, the first task with examining transitional species is to identify the primary differing traits between the organisms with traits considered more "primitive" and that with traits considered more "derived". These terms aren't ideal, and it should be noted that in this post we are primarily using them to denote change in traits through geologic time.
Eusthenopteron Traits
Tetrapodomorph Traits
Part 2: The Land Before Spine
The Devonian period was an odd time. It is generally known as the "Age of Fishes", but it should be noted that at this same time vast fern-like forests were beginning to stretch across the land, continuing their invasion from the Ordovician millions of years earlier. This is important, as the more the plants dominate, the more available habitat for the arthropods: a future food source for the tetrapods!
But for the most part this is a warm and humid time; ideal for more invaders from the sea. With the coast as free real estate, the sarcopterygians of the pelagic zone have an opportunity to seize.
Euthentopteron (385 MYA)
Euthenopteron is definitely a fish, but it bears unique characteristics that will come in handy in it's descendants future on land. It is the only organism in the sea during this time to have labrynthodont teeth, a trait found in the first tetrapods, as well as the skull roofing pattern and appendicular bones which appear in the vertebrate land lubbers. Its fin endoskeleton, which appears to be a more advanced version of the Devonian coelacanth’s, bears a distinct humerus, ulna, and radius (in the fore-fin) and femur, tibia, and fibula (in the pelvic fin). However, this animal is still clearly a fish. It bears gills and a webbed tail fin, lacks a neck, a true wrist and tetrapod vertebrae.
Panderichthys (380 MYA)
While again, clearly still a fish (gills, fins, webbed tailfin, no neck or true wrist) we see the beginnings of the wrist and forearm developing skeletally. Compared to Eusthenopteron, the skull shares more in common with tetrapods than fish, both in roofing and in shape (flatter than it is tall). The pelvic girdle continues to develop as well, and the dorsal and anal fins have vanished. The vertebral column is ossified and beginning to look more like the spine of a tetrapod. Nares are moving to a tetrapodomorph position as well. This animal likely did not leave water, but the pectorals are developed enough that it is possible it was capable of squirming from closely located bodies of water.
Tiktaalik (375 MYA)
Neil Shubins famous transitional! Tiktaalik is a lovely mosaic of traits: Head is flat and wide like the tetrapods.
a wrist that is continuing to advance (bones differentiating), the interior bones of arm/wrist are stronger and padded for “pushing up” and the eyes are on the TOP of the skull. Tiktaalik bears bones for heavy pectoral muscle attachments allowing it to push up and out of the water.A NECK has appeared, along with muscle attachments for moving head side to side and up and down, and accompanied by cervical vertebrae. However, it has fins rather and no digitsand scales (the tetrapods have primarily skin). And perhaps the most telling transitional trait: Tiktaalik has both gills AND lungs. This animal likely could easily migrate from pools of water, although it's life is still primarily spent there.
Ancanthostega (365 MYA)
This animal was certainly spending some time outside of the water, although it would have been somewhat cumbersome. Digits are fully developed, but wrists still are not, thus, due to the wrist immobility, it likely still spent most time in the water and clung to plants with it’s “hands” Teeth remain labrynthodont and the skull is entirely tetrapod-like. Interestingly enough, there are eight digits on each limb not the five we've expect from tetrapods. But even with these odd hands, four limbs, each with digits, are present meaning this animal could likely move between pools of water. Gills are present still, along with lungs (as with lungfish).
Ichthyostega (365-360 MYA)
Ichthyostega differs from Acanthostega in two primary ways: it's ribs and it's wrists. Ichthyostega's ribs are far more robust, and they overlap, meaning this animal would not have struggled under it's own weight while walking. It also has full mobile wrists, meaning it could traverse land far easier simply due to it's enhanced mobility. Interestingly enough, Ichthyostega has only seven digits per hand/foot, a step towards our standard of five. The various fossils we have indicate it was more adept at terrestriality as a juvenile, returning to a primarily aquatic life as an adult, which would suit it just fine as it's gills are still present.
Tulerpeton (365-360 MYA)
The seven toes diminish to six in this animal. It possesses all the land attributes which gave Ichthyostega an edge, and has lost it's gills. However, a new adaption give Tulerpeton an additional trick: it's neck and pectoral girdle aren't connected. This means it can lift it's head up and down rather than just side to side, allowing it to peek above the waters while obscuring the rest of it's body. A considerable hunting advantage. The plants it's fossils were found with indicate a brackish habitat where salinity and water level varied wildly. This paints a picture of a stealthy pool-hopper patrolling the deltas.
From here, the various forms take off even more, specializing in odd ways for over 30 million years. And down the line we have a clear example of a "typical" tetrapod in:
Proterogyrinus (330 MYA)
This enormous tetrapod (6-7 feet long) is likely not the first of the typical tetrapods, but it is a very well preserved example. A monstrous early tetrapod, Proterogyrinus is fully terrestrial, five-toed and squat with a flat, salamander-style head. It has a non-webbed tail dragging behind, true wrists and five digits, while being robust and able to move quickly on land
So with the players in the lineage outlined, lets examine some of the additional facets of tetrapod evolution before diving into the criticisms.
Part 3: The Terrestrial Mystery Tour
So why leave water in the first place? At a light glace, it seems like these animals had it made in the sea. But the water sported many dangers which likely pushed the sarcopterygians into the pegalic zones, coasts and deltas. Heavy set predators such as dunkleosteus lurked in the deep water, along with the continued reign of the sharks. Once in the shallows, it is likely these animals wandered into hybrid territories such as mangrove swamps or shallow deltas.
Now, already adapted to breathe air and move around in shallow waters near land as a protection (similar to modern fish and amphibians, which often spend the first part of their life in the comparative safety of shallow waters like mangrove forests before migrating outward) these animals occupied two very different niches partially overlapped with one other.
The land along the water thus became the less crowded, less dangerous option for those juveniles living nearby, and those species who could take advantage of it were rewarded with a directional selection for terrestriality.
Those who ventured onto land also gained a new food source to take advantage of: the arthropods living there.
Of course there are some enormous challenges to switching from the sea to the land (or vice versa). We covered already the skeletal changes which needed to occur, as well as the steps to breathing air exclusively (gills, gills AND lungs, lungs) but what about the chemistry of it? The nature of pulling O2 from water is very different from pulling it from the air.
The tetrapod evolution article on wikipedia has a nice summary:
"In order for the lungs to allow gas exchange, the lungs first need to have gas in them. In modern tetrapods, three important breathing mechanisms are conserved from early ancestors, the first being a CO2/H+ detection system. In modern tetrapod breathing, the impulse to take a breath is triggered by a buildup of CO2 in the bloodstream and not a lack of O2. A similar CO2/H+ detection system is found in all Osteichthyes, which implies that the last common ancestor of all Osteichthyes had a need of this sort of detection system.
The second mechanism for a breath is a surfactant system in the lungs to facilitate gas exchange. This is also found in all Osteichthyes, even those that are almost entirely aquatic. The highly conserved nature of this system suggests that even aquatic Osteichthyes have some need for a surfactant system, which may seem strange as there is no gas underwater. The third mechanism for a breath is the actual motion of the breath. This mechanism predates the last common ancestor of Osteichthyes, as it can be observed in Lampetra camtshatica, the sister clade to Osteichthyes.
In Lampreys, this mechanism takes the form of a "cough", where the lamprey shakes its body to allow water flow across its gills. When CO2 levels in the lamprey's blood climb too high, a signal is sent to a central pattern generator that causes the lamprey to "cough" and allow CO2 to leave its body. This linkage between the CO2 detection system and the central pattern generator is extremely similar to the linkage between these two systems in tetrapods, which implies homology."
We can look into the genetics as well, covered a bit in this post on the inner ear and the genetics involved. I will paste a portion below:
Fish have what is known as a Lateral Line along both sides to detect movement, vibration, and pressure gradients in the surrounding water. The Lateral Line is composed of neuromasts (small receptors with hair-like projections which extend into a jelly-like sac ). The Lateral Line pits are found in the fossils of ancient fish as well, dating back hundreds of millions of years ago. The Lateral Line formation is controlled by the gene known as Pax 2, and the same exact gene is responsible for the formation of the inner ear in mammals and the varying levels of auditory ability in reptiles and amphibians (so all our tetrapods)
The receptors for BOTH these taxa appears in amphioxus in the form of hair-like epithelial cells and connecting neurons. Coincidentally, this organism is thought to be the precursor for all chordates.
To put it all more plainly: same gene that controls the formation of the lateral line (detecting prey, orientation, schooling) controls the formation of the mammalian inner ear (modern balance/hearing organ) and the ancestor of BOTH has the genes for the receptor type's origin.
Can we go back any further though?
Box jellyfish are incredibly "primitive" animals. They have a sort of ancient eye (unique to sea jellies), but certainly lack any type of ear or lateral line.
What do their genes say? They don't have Pax 2 (balance/hearing) OR Pax 6 (sight) but have a single gene for their primitive eyes that is a genetic mosaic of BOTH Pax 2 and Pax 6.
The implication here is that perhaps ancient cnidarians hold the key to the eventual duplication or point mutation that progenated Pax 2 and Pax 6 from the precursor mosaic.
So the genetics are in place by the time we reach the Sarcopterygians like Eusthenopteron, what about the physical form? The actual inner ear bones? Eusthenopteron's stapes is nearly in place, and by the time we meet the early amphibian Tulerpeton, the first inner ear bone is in place, although hearing would have been incredibly poor.
With this in mind, we essentially have directional selection and mutation taking advantage of open niches and the safety of a new habitat. Basically, Evolution working as is should.
Part 4: Examining the YEC Response
Up to bat is my personal go-to for YEC opinion: Answers in Genesis.
Thankfully there is an easily accessible article on their site, one originally posted in the Journal of Creation back in 2003. I was hoping that their primary page on the subject would be a bit more up to date, but we will analyze it anyways.
Paul Garner, Bsc Environmental Science, is Skeptical
The very first thing you should notice is the date that this paper was written, 2003, is a year prior to the discovery of perhaps the most important fossil of tetrapod evolution: Tiktaalik (2004). And even with that piece missing, there is quite a bit of floundering going on in this article (pun).
For instance, Garner presents a very misguided idea of what "intermediate" means in the context of a fossil form. Mind you, I have met very few Creationists (anecdotally) who will define what a transitional form would even look like. But here is what Garner has to say:
" Evolutionary theory might lead us to expect examples of intermediate structures, but there is nothing intermediate about, for example, the internal gills of Acanthostega, its lateral line system, or its limbs. They are fully developed and highly complex."
I wish someone would inform Garner that his idea on Evolutionary theory is incorrect. Evolutionary Theory predicts small morphologic changes accumulating over time thanks to natural selection and mutation. This means there will never be an intermediate species that is plagued by incumbent or lethal morphologies. This patently goes against the entire idea.
But let's check a more recent article shall we?
David Menton at it Again(ton)
Menton specifically covers tiktaalik here thankfully. But he doesn't go more than skin deep. Essentially Menton argues that tiktaalik is "still a fish" (something no one disputes) and that it couldn't walk on it's fins (which is a rather general statement).
Of course as we covered it is likely that if tiktaalik did move from different bodies of water it would be quite cumbersome, but not impossible. Similar to how modern mudskippers get about.
Menton's argument here boils down to calling tiktaalik a fish and mentioning coelacanth and lungfish to support the idea that fish can do the things tiktaalik can do. He doesn't dare go more than surface level on skeletal changes in the lineage over time.
But no AiG dive would be complete without the assertion that it's the evolutionary assumption that's the real problem.
Evolutionary Assumption = Bad
Here we see an unlisted author talk about Ventastega (not covered in this post). This is another transitional form somewhere between tiktaalik and terrestrial tetrapods. The article quotes the actual paper on the finding and rounds itself off with this:
" What the scientists in this study did not do, was examine alternative ideas about what Ventastega represents. For example, if we start from the Bible—that God created the earth and all animal kinds in six days about 6,000 years ago, then we would likely conclude that Ventastega, like Tiktaalik, represents both the amazing creativity and economy that God has used in the multitude of diverse designs He made. "
Essentially, Ventastega doesn't support evolution so long as you start with a worldview that already precludes evolution as a possibility.
I don't think I need to go into why this is not science in any shape or form. Beginning with a conclusion is never good in the world of science, be it biology, chemistry or physics.
Part 5: TL;DR
Tetrapod evolution is well documented in the fossil record and tracks morphologic change from aquatic sarcopterygians to terrestrial tetrapods. Criticisms of these fossils are poor to non existent and can be summarized as a slander of evolutionary theory simply due to it's implications. Valid criticisms point out we still have much to learn about this lineage, particularly in the realm of biochemical change, but this is classified as a lack of evidence in a facet of a well documented biological trend rather than what would be required for a YEC alternative: evidence to the contrary.
Thank you for reading!
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2019.04.22 09:04 Gutsick_Gibbon Transitional Species Handbook: Tetrapods (Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians) are Definitively the Descendants of a Lineage of Pelagic Sarcopterygians (lobe-finned fish)

Let's talk fish this evening fellow tetrapods!
Tetrapoda is a superclass including all mammals, reptiles (birds as well) and amphibians. This group is considered by mainstream science to have emerged sometime in the Devonian period around 350 to 380 MYA from a line of sarcopterygians, or lobe finned fish. This group includes modern coelacanth and itself is likely an evolutionary lineage descending from the proto-lungfish known as Dipterus.
How do we know this? Are there any criticisms?
The following post will examine the various fossil transitions we have from Eusthenopteron to the Tetrapodomorphs (and Temnospondyls), and examine the YEC criticisms of this lineage.
Part 1: A Fish Called Eusthenopteron
As always, the first task with examining transitional species is to identify the primary differing traits between the organisms with traits considered more "primitive" and that with traits considered more "derived". These terms aren't ideal, and it should be noted that in this post we are primarily using them to denote change in traits through geologic time.
Eusthenopteron Traits

Tetrapodomorph Traits

Part 2: The Land Before Spine
The Devonian period was an odd time. It is generally known as the "Age of Fishes", but it should be noted that at this same time vast fern-like forests were beginning to stretch across the land, continuing their invasion from the Ordovician millions of years earlier. This is important, as the more the plants dominate, the more available habitat for the arthropods: a future food source for the tetrapods!
But for the most part this is a warm and humid time; ideal for more invaders from the sea. With the coast as free real estate, the sarcopterygians of the pelagic zone have an opportunity to seize.
Euthentopteron (385 MYA)
Euthenopteron is definitely a fish, but it bears unique characteristics that will come in handy in it's descendants future on land. It is the only organism in the sea during this time to have labrynthodont teeth, a trait found in the first tetrapods, as well as the skull roofing pattern and appendicular bones which appear in the vertebrate land lubbers. Its fin endoskeleton, which appears to be a more advanced version of the Devonian coelacanth’s, bears a distinct humerus, ulna, and radius (in the fore-fin) and femur, tibia, and fibula (in the pelvic fin). However, this animal is still clearly a fish. It bears gills and a webbed tail fin, lacks a neck, a true wrist and tetrapod vertebrae.
Panderichthys (380 MYA)
While again, clearly still a fish (gills, fins, webbed tailfin, no neck or true wrist) we see the beginnings of the wrist and forearm developing skeletally. Compared to Eusthenopteron, the skull shares more in common with tetrapods than fish, both in roofing and in shape (flatter than it is tall). The pelvic girdle continues to develop as well, and the dorsal and anal fins have vanished. The vertebral column is ossified and beginning to look more like the spine of a tetrapod. Nares are moving to a tetrapodomorph position as well. This animal likely did not leave water, but the pectorals are developed enough that it is possible it was capable of squirming from closely located bodies of water.
Tiktaalik (375 MYA)
Neil Shubins famous transitional! Tiktaalik is a lovely mosaic of traits: Head is flat and wide like the tetrapods, a wrist that is continuing to advance (bones differentiating), the interior bones of arm/wrist are stronger and padded for “pushing up” and the eyes are on the TOP of the skull. Tiktaalik bears bones for heavy pectoral muscle attachments allowing it to push up and out of the water. A NECK has appeared, along with muscle attachments for moving head side to side, and accompanied by cervical vertebrae. However, it has fins, no digits and scales (the tetrapods have primarily skin). And perhaps the most telling transitional trait: Tiktaalik has both gills AND lungs. This animal likely could easily migrate from pools of water, although it's life is still primarily spent there.
Ancanthostega (365 MYA)
This animal was certainly spending some time outside of the water, although it would have been somewhat cumbersome. Digits are fully developed, but wrists still are not, thus, due to the wrist immobility, it likely still spent most time in the water and clung to plants with it’s “hands” Teeth remain labrynthodont and the skull is entirely tetrapod-like. Interestingly enough, there are eight digits on each limb not the five we've expect from tetrapods. But even with these odd hands, four limbs, each with digits, are present meaning this animal could likely move between pools of water. Gills are present still, along with lungs (as with lungfish).
Ichthyostega (365-360 MYA)
Ichthyostega differs from Acanthostega in two primary ways: it's ribs and it's wrists. Ichthyostega's ribs are far more robust, and they overlap, meaning this animal would not have struggled under it's own weight while walking. It also has full mobile wrists, meaning it could traverse land far easier simply due to it's enhanced mobility. Interestingly enough, Ichthyostega has only seven digits per hand/foot, a step towards our standard of five. The various fossils we have indicate it was more adept at terrestriality as a juvenile, returning to a primarily aquatic life as an adult, which would suit it just fine as it's gills are still present.
Tulerpeton (365-360 MYA)
The seven toes diminish to six in this animal. It possesses all the land attributes which gave Ichthyostega an edge, and has lost it's gills. However, a new adaption give Tulerpeton an additional trick: it's neck and pectoral girdle aren't connected. This means it can lift it's head up and down rather than just side to side, allowing it to peek above the waters while obscuring the rest of it's body. A considerable hunting advantage. The plants it's fossils were found with indicate a brackish habitat where salinity and water level varied wildly. This paints a picture of a stealthy pool-hopper patrolling the deltas.
From here, the various forms take off even more, specializing in odd ways for over 30 million years. And down the line we have a clear example of a "typical" tetrapod in:
Proterogyrinus (330 MYA)
This enormous tetrapod (6-7 feet long) is likely not the first of the typical tetrapods, but it is a very well preserved example. A monstrous early tetrapod, Proterogyrinus is fully terrestrial, five-toed and squat with a flat, salamander-style head. It has a non-webbed tail dragging behind, true wrists and five digits, while being robust and able to move quickly on land
So with the players in the lineage outlined, lets examine some of the additional facets of tetrapod evolution before diving into the criticisms.
Part 3: The Terrestrial Mystery Tour
So why leave water in the first place? At a light glace, it seems like these animals had it made in the sea. But the water sported many dangers which likely pushed the sarcopterygians into the pegalic zones, coasts and deltas. Heavy set predators such as dunkleosteus lurked in the deep water, along with the continued reign of the sharks. Once in the shallows, it is likely these animals wandered into hybrid territories such as mangrove swamps or shallow deltas.
Now, already adapted to breathe air and move around in shallow waters near land as a protection (similar to modern fish and amphibians, which often spend the first part of their life in the comparative safety of shallow waters like mangrove forests before migrating outward) these animals occupied two very different niches partially overlapped with one other.
The land along the water thus became the less crowded, less dangerous option for those juveniles living nearby, and those species who could take advantage of it were rewarded with a directional selection for terrestriality.
Those who ventured onto land also gained a new food source to take advantage of: the arthropods living there.
Of course there are some enormous challenges to switching from the sea to the land (or vice versa). We covered already the skeletal changes which needed to occur, as well as the steps to breathing air exclusively (gills, gills AND lungs, lungs) but what about the chemistry of it? The nature of pulling O2 from water is very different from pulling it from the air.
The tetrapod evolution article on wikipedia has a nice summary:
"In order for the lungs to allow gas exchange, the lungs first need to have gas in them. In modern tetrapods, three important breathing mechanisms are conserved from early ancestors, the first being a CO2/H+ detection system. In modern tetrapod breathing, the impulse to take a breath is triggered by a buildup of CO2 in the bloodstream and not a lack of O2. A similar CO2/H+ detection system is found in all Osteichthyes, which implies that the last common ancestor of all Osteichthyes had a need of this sort of detection system.
The second mechanism for a breath is a surfactant system in the lungs to facilitate gas exchange. This is also found in all Osteichthyes, even those that are almost entirely aquatic. The highly conserved nature of this system suggests that even aquatic Osteichthyes have some need for a surfactant system, which may seem strange as there is no gas underwater. The third mechanism for a breath is the actual motion of the breath. This mechanism predates the last common ancestor of Osteichthyes, as it can be observed in Lampetra camtshatica, the sister clade to Osteichthyes.
In Lampreys, this mechanism takes the form of a "cough", where the lamprey shakes its body to allow water flow across its gills. When CO2 levels in the lamprey's blood climb too high, a signal is sent to a central pattern generator that causes the lamprey to "cough" and allow CO2 to leave its body. This linkage between the CO2 detection system and the central pattern generator is extremely similar to the linkage between these two systems in tetrapods, which implies homology."
We can look into the genetics as well, covered a bit in this post on the inner ear and the genetics involved. I will paste a portion below:
Fish have what is known as a Lateral Line along both sides to detect movement, vibration, and pressure gradients in the surrounding water. The Lateral Line is composed of neuromasts (small receptors with hair-like projections which extend into a jelly-like sac ). The Lateral Line pits are found in the fossils of ancient fish as well, dating back hundreds of millions of years ago. The Lateral Line formation is controlled by the gene known as Pax 2, and the same exact gene is responsible for the formation of the inner ear in mammals and the varying levels of auditory ability in reptiles and amphibians (so all our tetrapods)
The receptors for BOTH these taxa appears in amphioxus in the form of hair-like epithelial cells and connecting neurons. Coincidentally, this organism is thought to be the precursor for all chordates.
To put it all more plainly: same gene that controls the formation of the lateral line (detecting prey, orientation, schooling) controls the formation of the mammalian inner ear (modern balance/hearing organ) and the ancestor of BOTH has the genes for the receptor type's origin.
Can we go back any further though?
Box jellyfish are incredibly "primitive" animals. They have a sort of ancient eye (unique to sea jellies), but certainly lack any type of ear or lateral line.
What do their genes say? They don't have Pax 2 (balance/hearing) OR Pax 6 (sight) but have a single gene for their primitive eyes that is a genetic mosaic of BOTH Pax 2 and Pax 6.
The implication here is that perhaps ancient cnidarians hold the key to the eventual duplication or point mutation that progenated Pax 2 and Pax 6 from the precursor mosaic.
So the genetics are in place by the time we reach the Sarcopterygians like Eusthenopteron, what about the physical form? The actual inner ear bones? Eusthenopteron's stapes is nearly in place, and by the time we meet the early amphibian Tulerpeton, the first inner ear bone is in place, although hearing would have been incredibly poor.
With this in mind, we essentially have directional selection and mutation taking advantage of open niches and the safety of a new habitat. Basically, Evolution working as is should.
Part 4: Examining the YEC Response
Up to bat is my personal go-to for YEC opinion: Answers in Genesis.
Thankfully there is an easily accessible article on their site, one originally posted in the Journal of Creation back in 2003. I was hoping that their primary page on the subject would be a bit more up to date, but we will analyze it anyways.
Paul Garner, Bsc Environmental Science, is Skeptical
The very first thing you should notice is the date that this paper was written, 2003, is a year prior to the discovery of perhaps the most important fossil of tetrapod evolution: Tiktaalik (2004). And even with that piece missing, there is quite a bit of floundering going on in this article (pun).
For instance, Garner presents a very misguided idea of what "intermediate" means in the context of a fossil form. Mind you, I have met very few Creationists (anecdotally) who will define what a transitional form would even look like. But here is what Garner has to say:
" Evolutionary theory might lead us to expect examples of intermediate structures, but there is nothing intermediate about, for example, the internal gills of Acanthostega, its lateral line system, or its limbs. They are fully developed and highly complex."
I wish someone would inform Garner that his idea on Evolutionary theory is incorrect. Evolutionary Theory predicts small morphologic changes accumulating over time thanks to natural selection and mutation. This means there will never be an intermediate species that is plagued by incumbent or lethal morphologies. This patently goes against the entire idea.
But let's check a more recent article shall we?
David Menton at it Again(ton)
Menton specifically covers tiktaalik here thankfully. But he doesn't go more than skin deep. Essentially Menton argues that tiktaalik is "still a fish" (something no one disputes) and that it couldn't walk on it's fins (which is a rather general statement).
Of course as we covered it is likely that if tiktaalik did move from different bodies of water it would be quite cumbersome, but not impossible. Similar to how modern mudskippers get about.
Menton's argument here boils down to calling tiktaalik a fish and mentioning coelacanth and lungfish to support the idea that fish can do the things tiktaalik can do. He doesn't dare go more than surface level on skeletal changes in the lineage over time.
But no AiG dive would be complete without the assertion that it's the evolutionary assumption that's the real problem.
Evolutionary Assumption = Bad
Here we see an unlisted author talk about Ventastega (not covered in this post). This is another transitional form somewhere between tiktaalik and terrestrial tetrapods. The article quotes the actual paper on the finding and rounds itself off with this:
" What the scientists in this study did not do, was examine alternative ideas about what Ventastega represents. For example, if we start from the Bible—that God created the earth and all animal kinds in six days about 6,000 years ago, then we would likely conclude that Ventastega, like Tiktaalik, represents both the amazing creativity and economy that God has used in the multitude of diverse designs He made. "
Essentially, Ventastega doesn't support evolution so long as you start with a worldview that already precludes evolution as a possibility.
I don't think I need to go into why this is not science in any shape or form. Beginning with a conclusion is never good in the world of science, be it biology, chemistry or physics.
Part 5: TL;DR
Tetrapod evolution is well documented in the fossil record and tracks morphologic change from aquatic sarcopterygians to terrestrial tetrapods. Criticisms of these fossils are poor to non existent and can be summarized as a slander of evolutionary theory simply due to it's implications. Valid criticisms point out we still have much to learn about this lineage, particularly in the realm of biochemical change, but this is classified as a lack of evidence in a facet of a well documented biological trend rather than what would be required for a YEC alternative: evidence to the contrary.
Thank you for reading!
Let me know if I bunked anything up on tetrapods u/TheBlackCat13 !
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2019.04.09 23:55 Gutsick_Gibbon The Major Extinctions and How They Preclude a Young Earth and a Global Flood. (long) xpost

Let's talk about the major extinctions, shall we? Because they are quite problematic if you are a Young Earth Creationist.
In conventional science, there are typically 5 recognized Mass Extinction events. Extinction events can be defined as "widespread and rapid decrease in the biodiversity on Earth. Such an event is identified by a sharp change in the diversity and abundance of multicellular organisms. It occurs when the rate of extinction increases with respect to the rate of speciation." (Wikipedia, Extinction Event)
These five extinctions events are written, saturnine, in the rocks. We can imagine a rich fossil shelf like the Burges Shale, immediately followed by a barren strip of sparse layering as biodiversity has plummeted. This is of course, what we find. Five times, actually, and each with additional identifiers that tell us part of the story of "what happened" to these organisms and their formerly flourishing ecosystems.
Now, many Creationists have differing opinions on many different things. But one connecting factor (to my knowledge, a universal one in this ideology) is that all of the rock layers and fossils above the Vishnu Schist (the lowest granite layer of the Grand Canyon) were deposited by the global Noachian Deluge which occurred somewhere between 4000 BCE and 2000 BCE in approximately one year's time.(depending on the used YEC chronology).
What can be inferred then, is that the cause of death of nearly every fossil we find is impact from the wall of water or drowning.
But the nature of how layers are deposited and the taphonomy behind the deaths of these organisms present issues, especially in the light of those found in death assemblages during mass extinction events.
Let's tackle the glaring issues first.
The Extinction Events: An Overview
1) Ordovician-Silurian
444 mya, approx. 86% species lost.
Likely cause: a short, severe ice age that lowered sea levels, possibly triggered by the uplift of the Appalachians. The newly exposed silicate rock sucked CO2 out of the atmosphere, chilling the planet.
How do we know this?: Isotope analysis of Oxygen in brachiopods and conodonts show us that this period experienced a serious cooling event! It turns out Isotopes can reveal climate. Similar to runaway greenhouse effects, this "mini" Ice Age entered into a feedback loop as more exposed silicate cooled the planet, freezing more water and exposing more silicate.
YEC Problems: Isotope analysis alone is problematic for YEC site Answers in Genesis, which proposes a single Ice Age post-Flood. But logistically this is a problem for all YEC's. The organisms that died in the Ordovician Extinction littered the seafloor as they perished, supposedly representing the first to die in the Noachian Deluge en masse. But their own shell's isotopes indicate they died due to the ice that was beginning to creep down from the poles.
Walt Brown, YEC producer of the Hydroplate Hypothesis, invokes supercritical fluids to explain the deposition of so many layers of rock. Supercritical fluids occur at HIGH temeratures, not the more chilled waters the millions upon millions of sordid shells indicate.
Added is the obvious looming problem of "ecologic sorting". If habitat is to blame for the layering of the fossil record, why do we find ANY seafloor dwellers fossilized past this point? Why are the cetaceans and mosasaurs and MAJORITY of trilobites so much higher in the record?
2) Devonian-Carboniferous
375 million years ago, 75% of species lost.
Likely cause: Colonization of land by plants allows roots to stir up the earth, releasing nutrients into the ocean. This might have triggered algal blooms which sucked oxygen out of the water, suffocating bottom dwellers like the trilobites.
How do we this?: So vascular plants have risen to the land and doomed their distant eukaryotic brethren in the sea (including the poor trilobites). Sapping the oxygen from the sea, they created mass anoxia which can be seen int eh chemical analysis of laminated black shale and in the lack of free O2 in the sediment.
YEC Problems: Anoxia is usually caused by algal blooms (due to eutrophic conditions) of organic-walled plankton and the like. Anoxic death in marine organisms is resultant from the lack of O2 in the water. There is no means by which to suggest that a flood can correlate or cause Anoxic Conditions, as the rough seas would discourage algal growth and destroy any land plants. The marine organisms should show cause of death linked to blunt force or burial, and the entire ocean would certainly not become anoxic in the conditions described in Genesis 6-7.
3) End of Permian “The Great Dying”
251 million years ago, 96% of species lost.
Likely cause: A perfect storm of natural catastrophes. A cataclysmic eruption near Siberia blasted CO2 into the atmosphere. Methanogenic bacteria responded by belching out methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Global temperatures surged while oceans acidified and stagnated, belching poisonous hydrogen sulfide. “It set life back 300 million years,” Rocks after this period record no coral reefs or coal deposits.
How do we Know This?: Each of the factors are documented in the fossils and the rock and are abjectly not copacetic with a global deluge as the cause. First is the magma/igneous residue from the eruption of the Siberian Traps. We can track this also through the rapid introduction of isotopically light carbon found in the marine system. Second, we see the anoxia again. And finally is the fact that after these two events subside geochemically the biodiversity in the fossil record is absolutely decimated. Again, no ancient coral.
YEC Problems: Here we also see the death of the majority of the Synapsids, Dicynodonts, Pelycosaurs etc. These animals occupied the same niches the dinosaurs would come to takeover, meaning their habitats are the same and the fossils are in the same location but separated by geologic time. Some of these guys outwieghed some of the dinosaurs. So why are they so deep below them in the sediment? Hydrologic sorting cannot explain why a tyrannosaur would be above a gorgonopsid, as the former SHOULD sink below if they are indeed killed at the same time. And as I mentioned, their habitats are nearly identical, so Ecologic sorting cannot either.
Equally as problematic is the notion of the anoxia (again) and the severe volcanism. You see, the noxious output by the Siberian Traps encouraged methanogenic bacteria to flourish. Today, modern methanophiles live in harsh conditions such as under the permafrost or in the soil of arid deserts.
They do NOT thrive in floodwaters, or in a global inundation.
The coral are problematic as well. After this geochemical marker in time, they dissapear and the taxa which are killed off never make a reappearance. However, they are succeeded in the SAME habitats by different coral (soft corals) which survived the Permian Event thanks to the lack of their calcareous parts. So the Flood Geologist must come up with a hydrologic sorting method which can model why the waters patterned the corals as such, since no modern floodwaters have been observed sorting SOME organisms by size/weight/habitat, and not others.
4) End of Triassic
200 million years ago, 80% of species lost.
Likely cause: As of 2017, Volcanism is suggested, but this is a more contended issue. The disappearance of 80% of known life in the fossil record is abrupt and left few clues, but a 2017 paper examines one of the larger ones: Mercury.
How do we Know This?: Mercury Levels! These coincide with enormous volcanic events, suggesting another potential anoxic event.
YEC Problems: You may be noticing a pattern of anoxia here. Before you entertain the hypothesis that the flood triggered this O2 sap somehow and attribute it as another unifying Flood condition, allow me to present an issue. The Geological history of Oxygen on the planet shows fluctuations. The most damning to this particular idea is the fact that insects enjoyed insanely high O2 numbers in the Carboniferous... which is seated between two periods of mass anoxia.
The volcanistic nature of the End-Triassic is problematic due to the ash residue, which is terrestrial in nature. Meaning the volcanoes were not acting up underwater, but belching cinders into the air.
5) Cretaceous-Cenozoic
66 million years ago, 76% of all species lost.
Likely cause: Impact event that left the ) Chicxulub crater in the Gulf of Mexico. Killed all the dinosaurs, and all tetrapods over 55 lbs.
How do we know This?: The Iridium Layer! Iridium is an element that is supremely rare on Earth, but notably common in meteors and asteroids. There is a global band of this element found at the K-T boundary, the same layer that the Chixulub crater is found in. This layer is quite unique, as it represents a fuzzy border between the time of the dinosaurs and the time after them. This has always been the prevailing theory, but a recent hubub has been made over supposed further confirmation thanks to a new dig site.
YEC Problems: The nature of meteorite impacts is well known. We can tell by the size of a crater how large the object was, how fast it was going and it's composition. The crater at Chixulub is not indicative of a meteor which would have to penetrate sea levels higher than the Himalayas.
There are arguments of course that the Himalayas are a result of the flood and perhaps the waters were lower at the time of the Chixulub impact. The question then becomes something a bit more problematic.
The layers that make up the Jurassic and Cretaceous would have been laid down late in the Flood. This means The Chixulub impact was also late during the flood. Since we find the Jurassic dino fossils right underneath the Iridium Anomaly, we now face some issues. If the dinosaurs died this late in the flood, what did they eat while swimming for nearly a year? What about the dinosaurs not capable of swimming (looking at you carnotaurus)? if they were dead and simply not deposited yet, why are they all articulated together? Submergence in water lends a body to breakdown and the bones would be separately buried, not in a death-pose.
Thus the dead dinos must have been terrestrial at the time of death. This final issue on the last extinction alone precludes the Global flood based solely on principles of Taphonomy, let alone in the light of everything else.
Summary + Closing
While these events clearly create enormous problems for a Global Flood, little was said specifically on the Young Earth Nature. I am hopeful that seeing these events in tandem makes it clear that they could not have all occurred in 6000-10000 years simply due to the required ecologic recovery time. Additionally is the simple argument of radiometric datingon the rocks formed during these time periods.
The Mass Extinctions are incredibly displays of the fickle nature of our world. They rely on of an often chance event that spirals out of control while the hapless denizens of the planet struggle to survive. It is AFTER these horrific cataclysms that we see the biggest events of radiative evolution occur, proving that most relentless disasters till the soil for forms of life great and small to take Life's grand stage.
TL;DR: Various lines of evidence provide a basis for five mass extinctions, the natures of which preclude a global deluge from having occurred at that time geochemically and taphonomically.
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2019.04.09 23:54 Gutsick_Gibbon The Major Extinctions and How They Preclude a Young Earth and a Global Flood. (long)

Let's talk about the major extinctions, shall we? Because they are quite problematic if you are a Young Earth Creationist.
In conventional science, there are typically 5 recognized Mass Extinction events. Extinction events can be defined as "widespread and rapid decrease in the biodiversity on Earth. Such an event is identified by a sharp change in the diversity and abundance of multicellular organisms. It occurs when the rate of extinction increases with respect to the rate of speciation." (Wikipedia, Extinction Event)
These five extinctions events are written, saturnine, in the rocks. We can imagine a rich fossil shelf like the Burges Shale, immediately followed by a barren strip of sparse layering as biodiversity has plummeted. This is of course, what we find. Five times, actually, and each with additional identifiers that tell us part of the story of "what happened" to these organisms and their formerly flourishing ecosystems.
Now, many Creationists have differing opinions on many different things. But one connecting factor (to my knowledge, a universal one in this ideology) is that all of the rock layers and fossils above the Vishnu Schist (the lowest granite layer of the Grand Canyon) were deposited by the global Noachian Deluge which occurred somewhere between 4000 BCE and 2000 BCE in approximately one year's time.(depending on the used YEC chronology).
What can be inferred then, is that the cause of death of nearly every fossil we find is impact from the wall of water or drowning.
But the nature of how layers are deposited and the taphonomy behind the deaths of these organisms present issues, especially in the light of those found in death assemblages during mass extinction events.
Let's tackle the glaring issues first.
The Extinction Events: An Overview
1) Ordovician-Silurian

444 mya, approx. 86% species lost.

Likely cause: a short, severe ice age that lowered sea levels, possibly triggered by the uplift of the Appalachians. The newly exposed silicate rock sucked CO2 out of the atmosphere, chilling the planet.

How do we know this?: Isotope analysis of Oxygen in brachiopods and conodonts show us that this period experienced a serious cooling event! It turns out Isotopes can reveal climate. Similar to runaway greenhouse effects, this "mini" Ice Age entered into a feedback loop as more exposed silicate cooled the planet, freezing more water and exposing more silicate.
YEC Problems: Isotope analysis alone is problematic for YEC site Answers in Genesis, which proposes a single Ice Age post-Flood. But logistically this is a problem for all YEC's. The organisms that died in the Ordovician Extinction littered the seafloor as they perished, supposedly representing the first to die in the Noachian Deluge en masse. But their own shell's isotopes indicate they died due to the ice that was beginning to creep down from the poles.
Walt Brown, YEC producer of the Hydroplate Hypothesis, invokes supercritical fluids to explain the deposition of so many layers of rock. Supercritical fluids occur at HIGH temeratures, not the more chilled waters the millions upon millions of sordid shells indicate.
Added is the obvious looming problem of "ecologic sorting". If habitat is to blame for the layering of the fossil record, why do we find ANY seafloor dwellers fossilized past this point? Why are the cetaceans and mosasaurs and MAJORITY of trilobites so much higher in the record?

2) Devonian-Carboniferous

375 million years ago, 75% of species lost.

Likely cause: Colonization of land by plants allows roots to stir up the earth, releasing nutrients into the ocean. This might have triggered algal blooms which sucked oxygen out of the water, suffocating bottom dwellers like the trilobites.

How do we this?: So vascular plants have risen to the land and doomed their distant eukaryotic brethren in the sea (including the poor trilobites). Sapping the oxygen from the sea, they created mass anoxia which can be seen int eh chemical analysis of laminated black shale and in the lack of free O2 in the sediment.
YEC Problems: Anoxia is usually caused by algal blooms (due to eutrophic conditions) of organic-walled plankton and the like. Anoxic death in marine organisms is resultant from the lack of O2 in the water. There is no means by which to suggest that a flood can correlate or cause Anoxic Conditions, as the rough seas would discourage algal growth and destroy any land plants. The marine organisms should show cause of death linked to blunt force or burial, and the entire ocean would certainly not become anoxic in the conditions described in Genesis 6-7.


3) End of Permian “The Great Dying”
251 million years ago, 96% of species lost.

Likely cause: A perfect storm of natural catastrophes. A cataclysmic eruption near Siberia blasted CO2 into the atmosphere. Methanogenic bacteria responded by belching out methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Global temperatures surged while oceans acidified and stagnated, belching poisonous hydrogen sulfide. “It set life back 300 million years,” Rocks after this period record no coral reefs or coal deposits.
How do we Know This?: Each of the factors are documented in the fossils and the rock and are abjectly not copacetic with a global deluge as the cause. First is the magma/igneous residue from the eruption of the Siberian Traps. We can track this also through the rapid introduction of isotopically light carbon found in the marine system. Second, we see the anoxia again. And finally is the fact that after these two events subside geochemically the biodiversity in the fossil record is absolutely decimated. Again, no ancient coral.

YEC Problems: Here we also see the death of the majority of the Synapsids, Dicynodonts, Pelycosaurs etc. These animals occupied the same niches the dinosaurs would come to takeover, meaning their habitats are the same and the fossils are in the same location but separated by geologic time. Some of these guys outwieghed some of the dinosaurs. So why are they so deep below them in the sediment? Hydrologic sorting cannot explain why a tyrannosaur would be above a gorgonopsid, as the former SHOULD sink below if they are indeed killed at the same time. And as I mentioned, their habitats are nearly identical, so Ecologic sorting cannot either.
Equally as problematic is the notion of the anoxia (again) and the severe volcanism. You see, the noxious output by the Siberian Traps encouraged methanogenic bacteria to flourish. Today, modern methanophiles live in harsh conditions such as under the permafrost or in the soil of arid deserts.
They do NOT thrive in floodwaters, or in a global inundation.
The coral are problematic as well. After this geochemical marker in time, they dissapear and the taxa which are killed off never make a reappearance. However, they are succeeded in the SAME habitats by different coral (soft corals) which survived the Permian Event thanks to the lack of their calcareous parts. So the Flood Geologist must come up with a hydrologic sorting method which can model why the waters patterned the corals as such, since no modern floodwaters have been observed sorting SOME organisms by size/weight/habitat, and not others.

4) End of Triassic

200 million years ago, 80% of species lost.

Likely cause: As of 2017, Volcanism is suggested, but this is a more contended issue. The disappearance of 80% of known life in the fossil record is abrupt and left few clues, but a 2017 paper examines one of the larger ones: Mercury.

How do we Know This?: Mercury Levels! These coincide with enormous volcanic events, suggesting another potential anoxic event.

YEC Problems: You may be noticing a pattern of anoxia here. Before you entertain the hypothesis that the flood triggered this O2 sap somehow and attribute it as another unifying Flood condition, allow me to present an issue. The Geological history of Oxygen on the planet shows fluctuations. The most damning to this particular idea is the fact that insects enjoyed insanely high O2 numbers in the Carboniferous... which is seated between two periods of mass anoxia.
The volcanistic nature of the End-Triassic is problematic due to the ash residue, which is terrestrial in nature. Meaning the volcanoes were not acting up underwater, but belching cinders into the air.

5) Cretaceous-Cenozoic
66 million years ago, 76% of all species lost.

Likely cause: Impact event that left the ) Chicxulub crater in the Gulf of Mexico. Killed all the dinosaurs, and all tetrapods over 55 lbs.

How do we know This?: The Iridium Layer! Iridium is an element that is supremely rare on Earth, but notably common in meteors and asteroids. There is a global band of this element found at the K-T boundary, the same layer that the Chixulub crater is found in. This layer is quite unique, as it represents a fuzzy border between the time of the dinosaurs and the time after them. This has always been the prevailing theory, but a recent hubub has been made over supposed further confirmation thanks to a new dig site.

YEC Problems: The nature of meteorite impacts is well known. We can tell by the size of a crater how large the object was, how fast it was going and it's composition. The crater at Chixulub is not indicative of a meteor which would have to penetrate sea levels higher than the Himalayas.
There are arguments of course that the Himalayas are a result of the flood and perhaps the waters were lower at the time of the Chixulub impact. The question then becomes something a bit more problematic.
The layers that make up the Jurassic and Cretaceous would have been laid down late in the Flood. This means The Chixulub impact was also late during the flood. Since we find the Jurassic dino fossils right underneath the Iridium Anomaly, we now face some issues. If the dinosaurs died this late in the flood, what did they eat while swimming for nearly a year? What about the dinosaurs not capable of swimming (looking at you carnotaurus)? if they were dead and simply not deposited yet, why are they all articulated together? Submergence in water lends a body to breakdown and the bones would be separately buried, not in a death-pose.
Thus the dead dinos must have been terrestrial at the time of death. This final issue on the last extinction alone precludes the Global flood based solely on principles of Taphonomy, let alone in the light of everything else.

Summary + Closing
While these events clearly create enormous problems for a Global Flood, little was said specifically on the Young Earth Nature. I am hopeful that seeing these events in tandem makes it clear that they could not have all occurred in 6000-10000 years simply due to the required ecologic recovery time. Additionally is the simple argument of radiometric dating on the rocks formed during these time periods.
The Mass Extinctions are incredibly displays of the fickle nature of our world. They rely on of an often chance event that spirals out of control while the hapless denizens of the planet struggle to survive. It is AFTER these horrific cataclysms that we see the biggest events of radiative evolution occur, proving that most relentless disasters till the soil for forms of life great and small to take Life's grand stage.
TL;DR: Various lines of evidence provide a basis for five mass extinctions, the natures of which preclude a global deluge from having occurred at that time geochemically and taphonomically.
submitted by Gutsick_Gibbon to DebateEvolution [link] [comments]


2019.03.24 07:54 Gutsick_Gibbon ICR and their Fraudulent "Living Tissue" List (crosspost)

So I saw some recent posts here at creationevolution on living *bacteria which led to some research on "living cells and soft tissues". I am very familiar with Mary Schwietzer's work with the Tyrannosaur and Hadrosaur framboids, but had not been informed that there were some other "live tissues" being proposed, most specifically, same Late-Cambrian and Early-Ordovician species (namely, chitin)
Fortunately someone went to the trouble of dissecting this list of varying "live tissues" and posting a play-by-play of their opinion on each, along with links to the papers/abstracts so others can read for themselves.
EyeonICR's Labors
ICR's list is included at the top.
Notable examples with my own observations include:
"Shrimp Shell and Muscle" est 360 mya
And directly in the linked abstract the nature of these preserved muscle striations are covered:
" The shrimp specimen is remarkably preserved; it has been phosphatized, and the muscles of the pleon have been preserved completely enough that discrete muscle bands are discernable. The cuticle of the cephalothorax is shattered into small fragments, whereas that of the pleon is absent except for the telson. Confirmation that this specimen represents a Devonian decapod documents only the second decapod taxon known from the Devonian and the third from the Paleozoic. It is the earliest known shrimp and one of the two oldest decapods, both from North America. "
So, not quite live tissue.
"Chitin and Chitin-Associated Protiens" est 417 mya
Chitin is formed by polysacharides and is found in the cell walls of fungi and in the exoskeletons of arthropods. This is certainly not analogous to "live tissue" in the sense that ICR is attempting to portray. Furthermore, the abstract clears up precisely the nature of this find:
"Modification of this complex is evident via changes in organic functional groups. Both fossil cuticles contain considerable aliphatic carbon relative to modern cuticle. However, the concentration of vestigial chitin-protein complex is high, 59% and 53% in the fossil scorpion and eurypterid, respectively. Preservation of a high-nitrogen-content chitin-protein residue in organic arthropod cuticle likely depends on condensation of cuticle-derived fatty acids onto a structurally modified chitin-protein molecular scaffold, thus preserving the remnant chitin-protein complex and cuticle from degradation by microorganisms."
So, not quite live tissue.
and a personal favorite of mine:
"C-14 Date of a Mosasaur: 24,600 Years"
To my knowledge, you cannot date an organism older than 40-50,000 years with C-14 period.
And if you could, and were trying to get a Young Earth date, 24,600 isn't helping you very much anyways.
Let me know your thoughts, as I know the author of the blog was unsure of a few of their conclusions. But I think they did a pretty swell job considering the material they had to wade through.
EDIT: Sal referred to living bacteria. Independent research yielded ICR claims on living cells/soft tissues etc
submitted by Gutsick_Gibbon to CreationEvolution [link] [comments]


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Stratigraphy of the Ordovician

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