Washington, July 3 : New geological evidence has suggested that the course of life on Earth was altered 12,900 years ago by a giant comet exploding over Canada.
The evidence was found by UC (University of Cincinnati) Assistant Professor of Anthropology Ken Tankersley and colleagues.
This comet/asteroid theory was advanced by Arizona-based geophysicist Allen West in two years back, suggesting that an object from space exploded just above the Earth's surface 12,900 years ago over modern-day Canada, sparking a massive shock wave and heat-generating event that set large parts of the northern hemisphere ablaze, setting the stage for the extinctions.
Now, geological evidence found in Ohio and Indiana in recent weeks is strengthening the theory.
University of Cincinnati Assistant Professor of Anthropology Ken Tankersley, working in conjunction with Allen West and Indiana Geological Society Research Scientist Nelson R. Schaffer, has verified evidence from sites in Ohio and Indiana, which offers the strongest support yet for the exploding comet/asteroid theory.
Samples of diamonds, gold and silver that have been found in the region have been conclusively sourced through X-ray diffractometry in the lab of UC Professor of Geology Warren Huff.
The only plausible scenario available now for explaining their presence this far south is the kind of cataclysmic explosive event described by West's theory.
"We believe this is the strongest evidence yet indicating a comet impact in that time period," said Tankersley.
Prevailing thought said that these deposits, which are found at a soil depth consistent with the time frame of the comet/asteroid event, had been brought south from the Great Lakes region by glaciers.
"My smoking gun to disprove (West) was going to be the gold, silver and diamonds," said Tankersley. "But what I didn't know at that point was a conclusion he had reached that he had not yet made public - that the likely point of impact for the comet wasn't just anywhere over Canada, but located over Canada's diamond-bearing fields," he added.
"Instead of becoming the basis for rejecting his hypothesis, these items became the very best evidence to support it," said Tankersley.
"The kind of evidence we are finding does suggest that climate change at the end of the last Ice Age was the result of a catastrophic event," he said.
Additional sourcing work is being done at the sites looking for iridium, micro-meteorites and nano-diamonds that bear the markers of the diamond-field region, which also should have been blasted by the impact into this region.