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No. 78: Nov-Dec 1991

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Heavy bombardment of southeast asia 700,000 years ago

Tektites are found all over much of Australasia -- an immense area. The tiny, often-illustrated teardrop- and button-shaped tektites clearly seem to have been formed when an extraterrestrial object smashed into the earth, melted terrestrial rock and soil, and splashed the fluid droplets over thousands of kilometers of Australia and Southeast Asia. Solidifying in flight, these par-ticles fell by the millions.

Aerodynamically sculpted Australasian tektite
Aerodynamically sculpted Australasian tektite
But another type of tektite is also found in Southeast Asia. These are the layered or Muong-Nong tektites, which are not aerodynamically sculptured. They come instead in large, irregular masses, 3-20 centimeters thick, weighing up to 24 kilograms. Their layered appearance is thought to result from flow and stirrings as they solidified in small pools of melted rock and soil splashed from nearby impact craters. These irregular chunks of solidified melt could not have traveled great distances like their streamlined brothers. They lie at most only a few crater diameters from their parent craters.

Since layered tektites are found over an area 800 x 1140 kilometers in extent, and they are not far-travelers, Southeast Asia must have been peppered with many small cosmic projectiles 700,000 years ago (the disputed age of the event). Whereas geologists have been searching diligently for a single huge crater (perhaps 100 kilometers in diameter) to explain the Australasia strewn field, they should be looking for many 1-kilometer craters.

This scenario is radically different from mainstream thinking about this great event in earth history. (Wasson, John T.; "Layered Tektites: A Multiple Impact Origin for the Australasian Tektites," Journal of Geophysical Research, 102:95, 1991.)

Reference. For more on tektites, see ESM3 in the catalog Neglected Geological Anomalies. For details, visit: here.

From Science Frontiers #78, NOV-DEC 1991. 1991-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987