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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Peruvian Meteor Strike Provoked Unusual Psychosomatic Ailments?

Scientists are perplexed by an apparent meteorite strike in Peru near Lake Titicaca that has left a 20-metre-wide crater and is reported to have provoked psychosomatic ailments that made 200 to 500 people sick [video].

Peruvian Nuclear Energy Institute engineer Renan Ramirez said a team of scientists found no radiation at the crash site and confirmed that a fallen satellite did not create the crater. Ramirez speculated that sulphur, arsenic or other toxins that melted in the extreme heat produced by the meteorite strike might have caused the illnesses that struck the local population. Others are now suggesting that fear of the sight and sound may have resulted in provoked psychosomatic ailments.

On the other hand, Dr. Michael J. Gaffey, a Professor of Space Studies at the University of North Dakota and expert in meteorites, says that "it's highly unlikely to be an actual meteorite" impact. [Video]

"It sounds much more like the crash of a large satellite, probably with residual hydrazine in it's tanks. Some of the larger communication and military satellites would make a crater of this size. But since nobody saw the crater form - they reported a bright meteor then later found a crater -we'll have to await the reports of the geologists who are investigating the site," Gaffey suggests.

Jose Mechare, a scientist with Peru's Geological, Mining and Metallurgical Institute, said late today that a geologist had confirmed that it was a "rocky meteorite," based on the fragments analyzed. News Video 1, 2, and 3.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I came across an internet rumor that Russia shot a U.S. military satellite out of orbit, but that sounds really unlikely.