Is an American buried on the Moon?
And the answer is… yes.
His name’s Eugene Shoemaker (1928-1997). He spent his whole life studying the moon, especially its cratering, and when he died in an auto accident, some of his ashes were preserved and sealed in a special capsule on the NASA space probe Lunar Prospector… which was launched on 6 January 1998 to investigate the presence of water on the moon’s poles. On 31 July 1999, on completion of its mission, it was intentionally crashed into a crater in the south polar region and Shoemaker’s ashes dispersed across the lunar surface.
I came across this interesting factoid when I went in search of something on the moon’s pull/effect on earthlings… ending up with a book by Louis Proud, The Secret Influence of the Moon.
The impetus for this search on moony facts came from a thread an old Lao Raven and I had going on ESP and prayer and extraordinary phenomenon in general… and I thought, well, we can get some interesting traction in this discussion if we look at the well-known phenomenon of an uptick in murders and births during a full moon.
What causes that, I wondered?
Well Mr. Proud, an expert on the moon, said in his book that sorry but people on this good earth don’t necessarily act differently during times of a full moon. There’s absolutely no data out there to back up Full Moon madness. No police or hospital records of an increase in aggressive behavior or violent crimes or body renderings out there in Kalamazoo with a full moon rising. Proud said “It’s fair to say the Moon-human connection cannot be ascertained with the use of statistics.” It’s an urban legend.
In other parts of his interesting book Proud said the pock-marked face of the moon is the result of being hit by meteorites over the 4.527 billion years of its existence up there. But then that’s about the same age as the earth, give or take a dozen million years one way or the other. Why isn’t the earth similarly cratered?
In my Rants and Yarns # 49 Not That It Matters, we looked at the vastness of the universe and considered the possibility that it has no end, that it is limitless or infinitely infinite. That thinking goes way beyond what I can imagine… I can imagine the moon and the earth being more than 4 billion years old.
But something that doesn’t end… I can’t imagine. Or something that has no beginning. You say the moon has always been there. Always. And I don’t understand. Say it’s been there more than 4 and a half billion years. OK, I’m with you. Like there’s a difference between always and 4.5 billion years.
And the answer as to why the surface of the earth doesn’t show similar impacts from comets or rocks hurdling through space… is… we got a protective atmosphere which deflects bad stuff, and those things that hit our atmosphere head on, just tend to burn up.
But some have broken through.
On 30 June 1908 an explosion occurred in an uninhabited area of Tunguska, Siberia that flattened and charred some 800 square miles of pine forest. It was estimated that whatever caused that explosion was thousand times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Most theorist say the Tunguska explosion was from a huge meteorite impact.
There’s also Coon Mountain aka Meteor Creek in northern Arizona. It’s a huge, rimed, bowl shaped pit that geologists have suggested was caused by a meteorite weighing more than 300,000 tons which hit the earth about 50,000 years ago … causing an explosion of something like 2.5 million tons of TNT. Not up to the explosion in Siberia but big enough to kill all animals in the area, such as mammoths and mastodons who might have been hanging around north Arizona at that period in time.
There are about 175 other known impact craters on our planet, and some of them measure well over one hundred miles in diameter. The oldest and largest yet found is South Africa’s Vredefort Crater, with a diameter of 155 miles. It impacted about 2 billion years ago.
Amazing stuff in this supercalifragilisticexpialidocious world that we’re just blissfully, woefully unaware of. So much has happened in 4 billion years.
Though man, as we know him, only’s been around since… well here’s a time chart that’s as good as any if you believe in evolution:
About 5–7 million years ago, Homo Sapiens split off from their common ancestor, the chimpanzee. Several species and subspecies of Homo Sapiens evolved.
2.5 million years ago The Neanderthals roamed.
70,000 years ago the Neanderthals died out and the man that is the closest to how we are today, appeared.
Some of us humans have evolved more than others. Here some shots of our more primitive brothers and sisters:
Handsome folks, aren’t they? Some of them. Not all understand the finer workings of the wheel, or calculus, but not sure that matters. They seem to be in harmony with nature.
You’ll notice I didn’t select any snapshots of the Toulambi, Yanomami and Mashco-Piro tribesmen from South America, because they are ugly, ugly people. I think what happened is, over time the people in some South American tribes had to go before tribal councils where they were judged just too awful looking to stay with more civilized Indians and were cast out, to tribe together out there deep in the rain forest, away from decent people.
I joke. These people from those three tribes have now several decades of association with the modern man. And have gone to pot, requiring handouts to live. Like many of the Inuits in Alaska and the Yukon, and some Indians in the US – some would say folks less evolved than the modern man… they have shut down their primitive ways of survival and mainly exist on hand outs from us, the more advanced.
On this subject – that seems to be wandering heather and yond out in Asimov land – the most primitive people on earth, as you may know, are the Sentinelese.
Perhaps no people on Earth remain more genuinely isolated. They live on the 28 square mile island of North Sentinel in the Bay of Bengal, way, way off normal shipping routes. “Negritos” in features, they are thought to be directly descended from the first human populations to emerge from Africa, and have probably lived on this particular Andaman Island for up to 55,000 years. First spotted in 1771, they have had little contact with the outside world since.
The precise population of the Sentinelese is not known; estimates range from lower than 40, through a median of around 250, and up to a maximum of 500. They maintain an essentially hunter-gatherer society subsisting through hunting, fishing, and collecting wild plants. There is no evidence of either agricultural practices or methods of producing fire.
They are noted for resisting attempts at contact by outsiders. On 26 January 2006, two fishermen were killed by the Sentinelese when their boat drifted near the island. Helicopters sent to investigate and possibly recover the bodies were met with what has become customary with low flying aircraft, Sentinelese men shot arrows and threw stone with serious intents to repel landings.
Other previous sightings of the near naked tribesmen from passing ships, showed their warriors standing with long bows on the shoreline, waiting to fight anyone who might venture inside the island’s reef barrier. From all records there appeared to be slightly more males than females. At any given time, dependent children and pregnant women would be on the fringe of the beach near the island tree line. There is speculation that there are two to six separate groups or tribes on the island.
The islanders are clearly healthy, alert and thriving, in marked contrast to the two Andaman tribes of “Negritos” who have ‘benefited’ from Western civilization – the Onge and the Great Andamanese – whose numbers have crashed and who, like some North American Indians, are now largely dependent on state handouts just to survive.
Pressure from native-people survivalist organizations has led the Indian government to alter its policy towards the Sentinelese, from attempting to make contact, to a policy accepting that the Sentinelese have the right to decide for themselves how they wish to live.
There was a single recent relaxation of that policy. In the search for Malaysian Airline flight 370 which mysteriously disappeared on 8 March 2014, the Malaysian government – after coordination with Indian officials – pushed a barge by an ocean going tugboat in close to North Sentinel Island. They were after some word the islanders might have as to the disappearance of the 370 – with the stated intent on not letting any stone or any island in the area go un-investigated.
In the belly of the barge were zodiacs and four Onge tribesmen from one of the closest island – 400 miles away. It was hoped that the Onge men could find some common words and communicate with the Sentinelese.
In the Zodiacs, the Onge tribesmen got inside the reefs surrounding the island and called out on bull horns in their language to a small group of armed Sentinelese warriors who had appeared on the beach. The short conversation that ensued came from a patchwork of words – maybe ten in total – that they had in common. Surprisingly before any investigation of the Malaysian Flight 370 could be initiated, the Sentinelese had concerns because the Onge tribesmen appeared to be right handed, which apparently had some great meaning to the Sentinelese… most of whom, maybe all, were left handed.
Conversation from the men on the beach soon ended and the Onge turned their zodiacs back to the barge – when one of the Sentinelese called out… and using just the ten words they had established between them, asked, “How did Trump beat Clinton? Huh?”
These last few paragraphs about relaxing the Indian policy on no contact with the Sentinelese is not true. Their absolute isolation is still a fact… as far as I know.