Chicago Fire (1871) Comet-Caused

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Chicago Fire (1871) Comet-Caused

Postby uniface » Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:04 am

Ran into the following this morning. It's one of E.P.'s favorite Stinky Old Poopy Heads (Laura Knight-Jadczyk) quoting a (now) dead link ( http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20 ... comet.html ) :

New research lends credence to an alternative explanation [for the Great Chicago Fire of 1871]: The fire, along with less-publicized and even more deadly blazes the same night in upstate Wisconsin and Michigan, was the result of a comet fragment crashing into Earth’s atmosphere. The comet theory has been around - and most often discarded - since at least 1883, but Robert Wood, a retired McDonnell Douglas physicist, said never before has the orbital parameters of the rogue comet been taken into consideration.

The likely suspect, in Wood’s eyes, is a fragment from Biela’s Comet, which had been circling the sun every six years and nine months before a close encounter with Jupiter caused it to break into two large fragments in 1845. During its next passage, astronomers noted a 1.5-million mile, 15-day gap between the two pieces. Wood said his analysis of the fragments’ positions during subsequent orbits shows that Jupiter’s gravity again affected their speed and trajectory, sending the smaller fragment on a path toward Earth that ended in October 1871. He presented his findings at a conference last week titled “Planetary Defense: Protecting Earth from Asteroids,” held in Garden Grove, Calif.

Wood cited eyewitness reports of spontaneous ignitions, lack of smoke and “fire balloons” falling from the sky to bolster his theory. If the fire had been caused by comet debris, which is believed to have consisted of small pieces of frozen methane, acetylene or other highly combustible chemicals, it also would explain the cause of the fires blazing north of Chicago, which wiped out 2,000 people and burned 4 million acres of farm and prairie lands.

The deceased included many who showed no signs of being burned, Wood said. “This would be consistent with either the absence of oxygen or the presence of carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide above lethal levels,” – a rare – but not unprecedented – situation in large forest fires. In all, over a 24-hour period, an area of land the size of Connecticut was burned.

Wood speculates the main body of the comet crashed into Lake Michigan, with peripheral fragments causing the fires in Chicago, Wisconsin and Michigan. [...]

“What’s important about these findings,” Wood said, “is that they show you people can actually get killed from something from out of space.”


http://cassiopaea.org/2012/01/31/jupite ... ls-part-1/
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Re: Chicago Fire (1871) Comet-Caused

Postby kbs2244 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:03 pm

This rings a faint bell in my memory.

It make some sense when you factor in the northern fires starting at the same time.
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Re: Chicago Fire (1871) Comet-Caused

Postby shawomet » Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:19 pm

kbs2244 wrote:This rings a faint bell in my memory.

It make some sense when you factor in the northern fires starting at the same time.


http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2006/ ... gofire.htm

"In 1883, twelve years after the Chicago fire, Ignatius Donnelly published a widely read book, Ragnarok: the Rain of Fire and Gravel. Though the book dealt primarily with the evidence for cometary disasters in ancient times, Donnelly suggested that the Chicago fire provided a small glimpse of the terror experienced by our earlier ancestors. “There is reason to believe that the present generation has passed through the gaseous prolongation of a comet's tail, and that hundreds of human beings lost their lives”.

Reflecting on the simultaneous events around Lake Michigan on the evening of October 8, 1871, Donnelly posed the underlying mystery: “At that hour, half past nine o'clock in the evening, at apparently the same moment, at points hundreds of kilometers apart, in three different states, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois, fires of the most peculiar and devastating kind broke out, so far as we know, by spontaneous combustion”. (We take up the historic testimony cited by Donnelly and others in tomorrow’s “Picture of the Day”).

Donnelly believed he could identify the cause of the devastation. He said it was Comet Biela, a comet that captured attention from astronomers in 1826, returned for a few predictable visits, broke into two nuclei, and then disappeared."

And a nay for celestial cause:

http://io9.com/5897629/october-8-1871-t ... ica-burned
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Re: Chicago Fire (1871) Comet-Caused

Postby Minimalist » Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:58 pm

His writings, a kind of 19th century equivalent of Erich von Daniken's Chariot of the Gods nonsense, became immensely popular and influential among the next generation of crackpots.


:lol:
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Re: Chicago Fire (1871) Comet-Caused

Postby uniface » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:43 pm

In other words, he was a Stinky Old Poopie Head.

That all but PROVES he was onto something

When the "refutiations" boil down to adjectives and insults like that, it goes by default. :mrgreen:
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Re: Chicago Fire (1871) Comet-Caused

Postby shawomet » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:48 am

uniface wrote:In other words, he was a Stinky Old Poopie Head.

That all but PROVES he was onto something

When the "refutiations" boil down to adjectives and insults like that, it goes by default. :mrgreen:


Well, of course it doesn't really prove it, but yes,when a detractor uses the word crackpot enough times, I'm really not impressed with that type of "objectivity". And in this case it's clear that the detractor shows disdain for "crackpots", which is just his way of saying "anybody who doesn't think like me and agree with every dominant scientific paradigm of the day is a crackpot!!". I do get the distinct feeling if you plug in any alternate theory, this guy would make good use of the word "crackpot".
But, it is true that meteorites are cold when they land. They've been cold soaked in the absolute zero of space for millions of years and the few moments burning in the atmosphere is not enough to really negate millions of years in the absolute zero of space. There are anecdotal accounts of witnessed stones being "too hot to touch", but that may very well be because something as cold as dry ice will also feel like a burn if you touch it not knowing it's ice. That, I think, is the main problem with the theory. Many think the Tunguska event of 1908 was a comet, although I think I noticed a new claim of meteorite just recently. No fire even though millions of tress were flattened, but no spontaneous fires were reported. And comets are not that dissimilar from meteors.
There has never been a confirmed case of fires from a meteorite fall. The burn phase takes place much too high up in the atmosphere. Comet, I don't know. The abstract for Wood's theory is at the 2nd link, but it was not accepted for publication according to the debunker. Assuming Wood submitted it for publication to a peer reviewed venue, what I just noted regarding celestial impactors and fires may have killed his theory on the spot in the eyes of his peers. I would also expect witness reports of a bolide or comet over a huge area when it was still high up, but are there any for the night of the Chicago fire? I don't know, just wondering.
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Re: Chicago Fire (1871) Comet-Caused

Postby E.P. Grondine » Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:52 pm

If you visit Peshtigo, and actually learn about the fire there and on the peninsula, you'll find that no extraterrestrial cause is required, and further that it is unlikely. But the truth never stopped Donelly from selling anything, including an imaginary town to the unfortunate settlers of Winona.
Usually people believe what they want to believe until reality intrudes.
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Re: Chicago Fire (1871) Comet-Caused

Postby Minimalist » Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:44 pm

That all but PROVES he was onto something


Or that he was on something.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Re: Chicago Fire (1871) Comet-Caused

Postby uniface » Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:05 pm

And the 12.8 Black Mat over how much of North America (?) leads you to confidently dismiss any possible connection between stuff in the sky and fires on the ground. :shock:
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Re: Chicago Fire (1871) Comet-Caused

Postby shawomet » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:27 am

uniface wrote:And the 12.8 Black Mat over how much of North America (?) leads you to confidently dismiss any possible connection between stuff in the sky and fires on the ground. :shock:


No. There is an enormous difference in the size of the impactor. Fires caused by the potential YD impactor were not caused by a meteorite air bursting in the atmosphere. Even one the size of a school bus(Feb 15, 2013 Russia), while blowing out thousands of windows and causing a building wall collapse, did not ignite any fire, it fragmented into thousands of small pieces in the air burst, showering the countryside with pea sized meteorites. Meteorites don't cause fires by igniting in the entry, the burn phase ends before reaching the ground, and they are not themselves burning or even hot once they reach the ground. I'll leave it to EP to describe the wildfires initiated by a huge impactor, where the dynamics released are of a different order.

Just briefly, from Wiki...

"In combination with the initial debris ejected into the atmosphere, if the impactor is extremely large (3 km (1.9 mi) or more), like the K/T boundary impactor (estimated 10 km (6.2 mi)), there would be a massive fire storm, possibly even globally if the impactor was extremely large. These fire storms would release massive amounts of ash and other debris into the atmosphere. These particles would add to the perturbation of the climate, and cause the dust cloud blocking the sun to last longer. This would prolong the Earth’s cooling time, possibly causing thicker ice sheets to form."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impact_winter

Size really does matter! :wink:
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Re: Chicago Fire (1871) Comet-Caused

Postby E.P. Grondine » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:01 am

Once again. and again and again and again.

If you visit the Peshtigo Fire Museum, what you learn is that the northen fires were caused by the careless burning of railroad construction debris. The area was extremely extremely dry, and several smaller fires had occured there previously, starteed by nothing more than static electricity.

Whether or not one or more of my great great great relatives were working on the railroad, and perhaps responsible for the fires, is still an open question.

Nobody in the family talked about it much, and the members of the railtroad work crew are still unknown.

Most local paper records were lost in the fires, but those in the surrounding area tell the story well.

Ignatius Donelly may be viewed as the spiritual father of the Ancient Alien group.
Could it be? ...If it was, then certainly... Since, then...

Well, in this case, it certainly was not.
Usually people believe what they want to believe until reality intrudes.
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Re: Chicago Fire (1871) Comet-Caused

Postby uniface » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:58 am

Fine. So they weren't caused by meteorites. Meteorites are not on the table. Or if they were, I didn't put them there.

And there were how many additional fires started at the same time ? More, as I envision it, than there were careless railroad crews. :|
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Re: Chicago Fire (1871) Comet-Caused

Postby shawomet » Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:21 am

uniface wrote:Fine. So they weren't caused by meteorites. Meteorites are not on the table. Or if they were, I didn't put them there.

And there were how many additional fires started at the same time ? More, as I envision it, than there were careless railroad crews. :|


Comets are rocks and ice, dirty snowballs as they've been called. What we know is the case with meteor encounters and impacts will be the case with comets as well. Wood suggested a fragment of Comet Biela, and a fragment or fragments would be stony and behave like an incoming meteor, in which case the results would be the same. The burn phase ends in the atmosphere, not on the ground. I assume we all know this, but if not, realize that comets are not on fire. There is no oxygen in space. Any fragments of a comet ignited from friction as it enters the resistance of our atmosphere will be extinguished by the time they reached the ground, just as is the case with a meteor landing as a meteorite. Now Wood did claim to have gathered witness reports describing "fire balloons" falling from the sky. Whatever direction comet fragments entered the atmosphere from, there should be numerous eye witness reports of a huge bolide or fireball in the sky over a many state area.

We most likely have meteorites in our collections that are fragments of comets. So meteorites are on the table. In the passage below, when he speaks of meteor showers, he is referring to the named annual showers representing the passage of the Leonids, Geminids, etc in their orbits around the sun, he is not talking about meteors in general not falling:

"Meteorites from Comets?"

"As noted previously, no meteorite has ever been known to fall from a meteor shower. This leads astronomers to disagree about whether any cometary material can survive passage through the Earth's atmosphere to reach the ground. However, the composition of some carbonaceous chondrites appears so similar to the expected composition of comets that such meteorites may be pieces of a comet. In particular, the class CI meteorites are often cited as potential comet fragments. There are only seven known CI class meteorites: Ivuna (see fragments at right), Alais, Orgueil, Revelstoke, Tonk, Yamato 82162, and Tagish Lake. These meteorites may have come from dormant comets masquerading as near-Earth asteroids. The entry speed would be low enough for meteoroids derived from such carbonaceous near-Earth "asteroids" to produce meteorites, even though these would be ultimately of cometary origin."

The above was taken from this page:

http://www.pibburns.com/catastro/meteors.htm

Each of the 7 meteorites mentioned, each possible comet fragments, behaved just as any small size meteor impact would behave, none of them caused fires.They would have been dormant as comets though. A comet big enough to do so, and we would be talking about a lot more then a fire in Chicago and fires in the North Woods, IMO.
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Re: Chicago Fire (1871) Comet-Caused

Postby uniface » Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:19 am

That's all well and good -- as far as it goes. Which, IMO, isn't far enough. This is why :

What you're doing is elucidating the current model of these celestial phenomena. It's what people do in nearly every case when some alternative possibility is broached. And, at great length and elaborate detail, what the conclusion boils down to is, "That can't be so, because the model doesn't allow it to be so."

But describing current theory, and taking the limitations of reality that imposes as being a description of reality itself rather than of people's attempts to model it regularly produces conceptual train wrecks when theory finally encounters reality in a form it's unable to evade.

An example from an author I've been finding fascinating but won't name because it would derail the discussion into the Stinky Old Poopie Head abreaction :

Just before the end of the last century the US patent office issued a direction: “No more patents on electromagnetism will be accepted, for whatever is to be invented in electromagnetism, has already been invented.”


The scientific press at one time was full of ponderously learned explanations of why the very idea of manned, heavier-than-air flight was an absurd impossibility. Not a few journals of record classed it, along with perpetual motion machines, as a topic closed to discussion.

This seems worth noting as relevant to your post. Not on the basis of my being able to provide, detailed, quantifiable data that refute it, but because the pattern involved is a car that's been circling the block for hundreds of years, in plain sight. And almost always ending the same way -- with the quiet scuttling of theoretical models of reality (like that stones could not possibly fall from the sky because there are no stones in the sky that could fall) that, however satisfying, proved inadequate.
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Re: Chicago Fire (1871) Comet-Caused

Postby Ernie L » Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:32 am

Well I can't say much about comets..but I would rethink the argument that fires are not caused by objects because they are no longer on fire by the time they impact the earth (extinguished .)

I have seen many dry grass fires caused by objects traveling at high speed through the atmosphere. I'm referring to bullets.

147grains of 7.62 x 51mm copper encased lead traveling about 2700 ft/s (800 m/s.)

no flame needed..these were not incendiary rounds, nor tracer rounds..ordinary full metal jacket ammunition.
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