NASA-JPL May Have Cooked Their Own Goose!
From: Ray Stanford <dinotracker.nul>
Subject: NASA-JPL May Have Cooked Their Own Goose!
"NASA-JPL has diagnosed the 'blueberries' as concretions formed
within a wet substrate. Aside from a few of the spheres and at
least one textbook splash-form dumb bell-shaped small object that
seem to be composed of translucent glass possibly knocked up and
frozen in flight by cosmic impact, my examination of many images
of the 'blueberries' taken under diverse light angles suggests
that they are right as to the origin of at least most of the
"Well, if NASA-JPL really intend to hide evidences of past or
present life on Mars, as some on this List feel is the case,
they have probably cooked their own we've-found-no-evidence-of-
life-on-Mars goose in making that diagnosis!
The geologists employed by NASA-JPL must not be very well-
informed on research during recent years concerning the function
of bacteria in a vast array of diagenetic (rock forming)
processes and, including the nucleation and growth of
concretions. Yet, in my research into diagenesis in
paleoichnites (ancient traces such as animal tracks and their
fossilized droppings, coprolites) it has been necessary to get
into current research on that, in order to better understand the
things my colleagues and I in paleoichnology find in streambeds
and in broader areas of anciently tracked-upon substrates.
To make a long story short (I shall over-simplify for sake of
brevity), there is increasing evidence of the function of
bacteria in rock-forming and even in some sand-forming processes
(wherein bacteria serve to nucleate the growth of small silicate
crystals). On Earth, in formation of spherical concretions,
bacterial colonies and/or other organic matter infused with
bacteria nucleate crystalline silica growth. I suspect it would
likewise be the case where Mars was wet over extended periods.
In the wet, mushy or 'muddy' environment, the resulting micro-
concretion slowly grows (sometimes incorporating or
encapsulating adjacent grains of silt or sand, sometimes simply
by crystalline growth from colloidally suspended silica
crystallizing and pushing adjacent silt ahead of its growth,
sometimes by a combination of the two processes), increasing its
diameter spherically across time. If conditions for the
bacterial colony's growth are episodic, one can sometimes see
(upon slicing the concretion) rather distinct concentric layers
of growth that formed the concretion, but where conditions for
growth are constant, the concretion may show a crystalline
pattern with virtually no concentric layering.
Notice the concentric layering in the sphere lower left
Nowhere known to me on earth are spherical concretions found in
anywhere nearly the concentration we have been shown within the
layered substrate in that Martian crater or in adjacent areas
where the concretions seem to have weathered (or have been
knocked) ex situ. Wherever I have found concretions in Early
Cretaceous substrates (Barremian-Aptian) they have formed where
the 'muck' that was turned to rock (likely with the help of
bacteria) was (when wet, in dinosaur times) full of organic
material and bacteria, both ferrophagic (iron eating) and other.
Thus it is that I seriously doubt we would see the vast numbers
of concretions in the crater on Mars if bacterial life had not
once been abundant in the wet, concretion forming substrate. As
recent years gone by, it has become more and more understood how
terrestrial rock formation and rock breakdown, as well, are
involved with bacterial processes of diverse types.
When will the seemingly old-fashioned geologists at NASA-JPL
wake up to recent advances in petrogenesis, etc., and realize
that they have likely been showing us concretionary evidence of
(at least) a former abundance of some kind of bacterial life in
a (at least) once water-abundant environment of Mars?
When? Well, I'm not holding my breath. Those people are
probably blind and petrified with paranoia of what colleagues on
the outside might say if they should be even slightly wrong.
Such was not the way of the great scientific pioneers, and
never will be.
Is that a goose I smell cooking, somewhere? Hmmm... could that
be blowing in from Pasadena?"
"You know my method. It is founded upon the observance of
trifles." -- Sherlock Holmes in The Boscombe Valley Mystery
The Stromatolites of Stella Maris, Bahamas
4. Siderite as a Component of an Ancient Stromatolite
"Mossbauer spectra at two temperatures of a freshly slabbed
portion of a 2.09 Ga (Early Proterozoic) hematic chert stro-
matolite from the Gunflint Iron Formation (PPRG 2443) are
shown in Figure 26. The high-velocity ferrous peak migrates
from its position at 100 K to overlap the fifth peak of hematite
at 19 K. This behavior and the agreement of the splitting pa-
rameters with those of siderite argue that this sample contains
a small fraction of siderite. (dominant siderite peak at -1090 cm-I).
The sample investigated was freshly slabbed for the Mossbauer
transmission measurement, so the iron carbonate is interior
to the native stromatolite rock. Its occurrence in this 2.09 Ga
old rock in- dicates that long (billion-year) survival times
for siderite are possible when preserved in silica."
(Fig 26 page 16, please compare with blueberry bowl
chart for siderite signature)
A Bowl of Hematite-Rich 'Berries'
Mar 18, 2004
"This graph shows two spectra of outcrop regions near the
Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's landing site.
The blue line shows data for a region dubbed "Berry Bowl,"
which contains a handful of the sphere-like grains dubbed
"THEIR height in heaven comforts not,
Their glory nought to me;
'T was best imperfect, as it was;
I'm finite, I can't see.
The house of supposition,
The glimmering frontier
That skirts the acres of perhaps,
To me shows insecure.
The wealth I had contented me;
If 't was a meaner size,
Then I had counted it until
It pleased my narrow eyes
Better than larger values,
However true their show;
This timid life of evidence
Keeps pleading, "I don't know."
By E Dickinson