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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Aug > Aug 14

Re: Socorro Again

From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2012 17:28:30 +0100
Archived: Tue, 14 Aug 2012 16:29:00 -0400
Subject: Re: Socorro Again

>From: Michael Tarbell <mtarbell.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2012 14:27:07 -0600
>Subject: Re: Socorro Again

>>From: Herb Taylor<herbufo.nul>
>>To: post.nul
>>Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2012 09:03:28 -0400 (EDT)
>>Subject: Re: Socorro Again


>Perhaps then the coy Dr. Colgate can comment on the following,
>which I think most would consider at least as much a "point of
>substance" as any of the above, excerpted from a 28 May 1964
>letter from USAF Col. Eric de Jonckheere to Hq USAF SAFOI PB,
>Washington DC:

>"_Soil_Samples_: The soil samples obtained at the sighting were
>given to Dr J Allen Hynek by Capt Holder. They were turned over
>to Captain Quintanilla who in turn submitted them to ASD for
>analysis. Laboratory analysis of the soil was completed on 19
>May 64. It included spectrographic analysis which revealed that
>there was no foreign material in the soil samples. Also, no
>chemicals were detected in the charred or burned soil which
>would indicate a type of propellant. There was no significant
>difference in elemental composition between the different

>So in whatever sense the "nature of the charred bushes" may
>"mimic the presence of pyrothechnics" (as in, they were
>charred?), there were evidently no pyrotechnics, or associated
>combustion products, detectable at the site.

Just to expand on this point: It was noted that the mesquite
bush in the middle of the marks had been "sliced in half" by
whatever burned it. Separation between burned and unburned areas
was abrupt, not, it was felt, like the way an ordinary fire
would spread. In this sense the pattern could be said to "mimic
pyrotechnics" -  in the way that any directed and localised jet
of hot flame(plasma)/gas/sparks - such as a chemical rocket or
acetylene flame or the "flame" that Zamora  saw - "mimics
pyrotechnics". this is not really interesting.

The only ostensibly interesting evidence for "pyrotechnics" was
Bragalia's claim that the scorched cardboard must have been from
the discarded tubes of pyrotechnic devices (basically
fireworks). But this is nonsense. It was just a bit of weathered
old corrugated packing paper blown from the town dump, that
Hynek said had been there through "many rains".

The ordinariness of the soil chemistry bears emphasising. The
Air Force minerals science lab report tested multiple samples
from different areas for "comparison", presumably (although this
is not stated) some from within the trace site and some from
without.  As Mike points out, there was "no significant

The actual element abundances were:

Principle element - Si;
Other main elements - Mg, Al, Fe, Na, K, Ca;
Minor or trace elements - Mn, Ti.

Some of these are used in pyrotechnic flash powders etc (as they
are in thousands of applications) but they are  all commonplace
constituents of surface soils across the western US which are
about 30% silicon with the rest (and many more of course) in
these same approximate proportions.*

The only thing that seems at all noteworthy to me is the trace
amount of manganese when average concentrations in the US west
are quite high - about 380 ppm; but it isn't surprising because
it occurs concentrated in lodes or seams of oxide ore and actual
concentrations across New Mexico vary from <2 to about 7000
ppm*. In any case a very low manganese concentration is the
opposite of what the "pyrotechnic" theory would predict (this is
used as a retardant to delay burning rates).

And, to re-emphasise, the most important point is the
"comparison" of samples from different parts of the area,
finding no significant difference.

Martin Shough

(*  Element Concentrations in Soils and Other Surficial
Materials of the Conterminous United States
By Hansford T. Shacklette and Josephine G. Boerngen U.S.
Geological Survey Professional Paper 1270, 1984)

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