October 2001

"When the United States wages war against terrorism, it will fight
looking through the eyes of Air Force Space Command. The United
States will never go to war without the space systems operated by AFSPC,
said Gen. Ralph E. Eberhart, AFSPC commander. "Whatever this nation does,
wherever they do it, they're not going to leave home without us," Eberhart
said while discussing the role his command plays in national defense and
global stability."
--Spaceflight Now, 8 October 2001

"None of us should underestimate what is at stake. We are at a
critical juncture between two possible futures. One is the
globalisation of terror. Passengers on a plane or workers in an office
can find themselves suddenly caught up in a conflict that is not theirs and
which began hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles away. When this happens we
are all affected. We lose that trust and sense of security on which
everyday life depends. We are plunged into what Hobbes called a "state of
nature", the "war of all against all" in which life becomes "nasty, brutish
and short", or at the very least, etched with fear. The other is a world
in which we share our blessings. Globalisation is full of benign
possibilities if we choose to make it so. The Internet is the most
powerful means yet devised for universalising access to knowledge. New
technologies in medicine and agriculture will make it possible to treat
disease and famine across the globe. There is every reason - political,
economic and ethical - for the West to wish to share its prosperity with
others while respecting cultural and religious differences. But that will
happen only if terror is defeated. Partnership depends on trust."
--Jonathan Sacks, The Times, 8 October 2001

    Michigan Live, 5 October 2001

    Ron Baalke <>

    The Times, 8 October 2001

    Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 7 October 2001


    C.S. Cockell  et al.

    Tumbling Stone, 30 September 2001

    Tumbling Stone 2001, 30 September 2001

    Andrew Yee <>

     Andrew Yee <>

     Spaceflight Now, 8 October 2001

     BBC News Online, 7 October 2001

     The Times, 8 October 2001

     The Daily Telegraph, 8 October 2001


     The Economist Global Agenda, 3 October 2001

     Michael Paine <>

     Michael Martin-Smith <>

     Hermann Burchard <>


>From Michigan Live, 5 October 2001

By Steven Hepker
Staff Writer

A fireball that some Jackson County residents saw early Tuesday evening was
most likely a meteor that passed several hundred miles away.About a dozen
people called the Citizen Patriot to describe a bright, large ball of fire
that seemed to drop straight down in the area in response to a story in
Wednesday's paper that a Leoni Township woman reported seeing the object.

"That sounds very typical of a bright meteor," said David Batch, director of
Michigan State University's Abrams Planetarium. "People think it dropped in
a field next door and it is actually a few hundred miles away."

Jennie Crittendon, the Leoni Township woman, saw the apparent meteor while
driving home from dinner in Jackson on I-94 at about 7:30 p.m.

Rose Morris of Michigan Center and a friend, Bruce Nyeholt of Lansing, were
driving on High Street in Jackson to her home when they saw it.

"It was really the coolest thing," Morris said. "The sky wasn't dark yet. It
was a flash. I don't think I've ever seen anything like that before."

Some thought it was a plane on fire. Batch said that's understandable,
because it could have been space junk re-entering the Earth's atmosphere.

No one reported hearing noise, such as a sonic boom.That indicates the
object was quite a distance from Jackson, as does the description of the

"It's a perspective thing," he said. "A rule of thumb is that the farther
away the object, the lower it appears on the horizon. It looks as if it hit
the ground nearby."

The fireball was not logged on Internet sites that track comets and meteors.
The American Meteor Society's site lists more than 30 significant fireballs
reported in 2001.

-- Reach reporter Steven Hepker at or 768-4923.

Copyright 2001 Michigan Live Inc.


>From Ron Baalke <>

Region treated to rare sky show
London Free Press (Ontario, Canada)
October 4, 2001

People lucky enough to witness the brilliant ball of fire that lit skies
over the London region Tuesday night were having a once-in-a-lifetime
experience, says a University of Western Ontario astronomy professor.

John Landstreet, who received a flurry of calls after The Free Press quoted
him in a story about the phenomenon, said this kind of fireball only comes
along once in a long time.

Full story here:

>From The Times, 8 October 2001,,2-2001350482,00.html
GLOBAL communications could be disrupted next month by the most severe
meteor storm to strike the Earth since the beginning of the satellite age.
An unusually dense shower of space dust will bombard the planet in the early
hours of November 18, producing a spectacular display of shooting stars but
also threatening thousands of satellites with short-circuits.

This year's Leonid meteor shower, which happens annually as the Earth passes
through debris left behind by a comet, will be the most severe since 1966
and easily the worst since more than a handful of satellites have been
present in orbit, scientists predict.

Even though each particle of dust from the Tempel-Tuttle comet weighs less
than a milligram, the particles travel at such high speeds that a direct hit
on a satellite would have a devastating effect, producing a cloud of charged
gas that would short its electrics.

+The risk of such an impact for each individual satellite is small - about
one in 1,000 - but with several thousand satellites orbiting the Earth, it
is highly probable that at least a handful will be disabled or knocked out.
Communications, television, weather, science and military spy satellites
could be affected.

There will be a big compensation for stargazers, however, bringing the best
chance to see shooting stars in more than three decades.

When the Earth enters the cloud, about 10,000 meteors an hour will be
visible in the sky, compared with the 20 to 30 that are normally seen during
the Leonid showers.

The best places in the world to view the event will be the United States and
eastern Asia, but experts are divided over whether the show will be visible
from Britain. One group in the United States has calculated that about 100
to 150 meteors per hour should be present in the skies of Western Europe,
but a British team thinks this unlikely.

There will be another opportunity to see a big Leonid shower next year and
astronomers agree that Britain will see it then. The threat to satellites
will also be repeated. The Leonids are so called because they always appear
in the sky in the position occupied by the constellation Leo.

Some operators will be able to minimise the chances of losing their
satellites by putting them into an orbit away from the side of the Earth on
which the Leonids will strike.
Copyright 2001 Times Newspapers Ltd. 


>From Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 7 October 2001

UR professor is part of team studying Tagish Lake meteorite

By Matthew Daneman
Democrat and Chronicle

(Sunday, October 7, 2001) -- The hunk of space rock slammed into the icy
Canadian tundra in early 2000, leaving behind dozens of pounds of rubble.

Now a University of Rochester professor is poring over samples and finding
clues to the origins of life on Earth.

The meteorite that hit Tagish Lake, British Columbia, is one of the few
"which you could call Rosetta stones," said UR earth sciences professor
Robert Poreda, who is part of a team of scientists working on the project.

"Ninety-nine percent of meteorites really tell us nothing," he said.

"They just have normal chemistry and mineralogy."

The Tagish Lake meteorite, however, is like amber -- it has tiny bits of
ancient cosmic material trapped inside.

The research team is looking into the chemical makeup of the meteorite. And
their early results, published in the Sept. 21 issue of Science magazine,
indicate that meteorites such as Tagish Lake's may have played a key role in
the evolution of the Earth's atmosphere, Poreda said.

He and other scientists theorize that the atmosphere's noble gases -- those
which are inert or nearly so, such as argon and xenon -- are a mix of gas
that percolated up from the Earth's core and originated in meteorites that
smashed into the planet billions of years ago.

The ratio of noble gases in the atmosphere is different from those found
deep inside the Earth.

But they more closely match those found in tiny bubbles inside meteorites
like the one at Tagish Lake, Poreda said.

The team also is examining the Tagish Lake meteorite to see whether it
provides clues to the origin of organic carbon on Earth.

"The sticking point is to get from simple molecules, like amino acids, to
the complication of life," said Sandra Pizzarello, a chemistry professor at
Arizona State University and another member of the research team. "You just
put the puzzle one piece at a time in place."

During its fall, the Tagish Lake meteorite was visible as a bright fireball
throughout the Yukon, Northern British Columbia, parts of Alaska and the
Northwest Territories.

It's one of three significant carbon-rich meteorite finds in the past 50

The others are Allende, which landed in Mexico in 1969, and Murchison, which
hit Australia in the same year.

Copyright 2001 Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

MELOSH, H. Jay, Lunar and Planetary Lab, Univ of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721,

The idea that the impact of a large comet or meteorite may cause a volcanic
eruption is becoming entrenched in the geologic literature. In spite of the
apparent appeal of this idea, there is no evidence that it has ever actually
happened, either on the Earth or on any other planet in the solar system.
Impacts produce melt directly from the target rocks by the process of shock
wave compression and release. This process is well understood
thermodynamically and does not lead to volcanoes or lava-like deposits. It
has been suggested that pressure relief melting, the effective source of
mid-ocean ridge basalts and plume-related volcanism, might occur beneath the
uplifted floors of large craters. Quantitative analysis of this process,
however, shows that the amount of uplift is only about 1/10 of the crater
diameter and, except for impacts that produce craters of continental size,
cannot produce significant quantities of basaltic melt. A currently popular
idea is that seismic energy from an impact might be sharply focused below
the surface at the antipode of the impact. However, this energy is at best
only a small fraction of the total impact energy and again quantitative
analysis shows that impacts the size of the Chicxulub crater (100 km
transient crater diameter) could have raised the temperature at its antipode
by only a fraction of a degree. The total energy required to melt the
basalts in many flood basalt provinces greatly exceeds the total energy
available from the impacts that have been proposed to form them.
Furthermore, study of planets such as the Moon and Mercury that do show
signs of antipodal focusing from large impact basins show no trace of
volcanism at the antipodes. There is thus neither evidence for
impact-induced volcanism nor a plausible mechanism for creating it.
Proponents of an impact origin for flood basalt provinces should probably
look for more effective causes.
GSA Annual Meeting, November 5-8, 2001 
Session No. 178
Planetary Geology
Hynes Convention Center: 304
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Thursday, November 8, 2001



Cockell CS, Lee P, Schuerger AC, Hidalgo L, Jones JA, Stokes MD:
Microbiology and vegetation of micro-oases and polar desert, Haughton impact
crater, Devon Island, Nunavut, Canada

The input of nutrients into arctic polar deserts, aided by some physical
processes, can result in localized areas of high biological
productivity-"micro-oases." We examined the vegetation cover, and microbial
and nematode abundance in the polar desert and in 38 micro-oases at the
Haughton impact crater, Devon Island, Arctic Canada. Our sites were split
between the alluvial terraces along the banks of the Haughton River and the
breccia deposits resulting from the asteroid or comet impact 22 Myr ago that
flank the alluvial terraces. The alluvial terraces have a vegetation cover
that ranges from 2 to 11% depending on substrate and water availability with
a species richness of 5 in most locations. The vegetation cover on the
breccia is much lower, between 0.02 and 3% depending on water availability.
The micro-oases on both substrates support between 2 and 98% cover, but they
are smaller and more sparsely distributed than similar features found in the
Truelove Lowland, Devon Island, and on Bathurst Island. Microbial and
nematode numbers were an order of magnitude greater inside the micro-oases
compared to outside. Micro-oases are often
dominated by a particular species, resulting in well-defined groups of
micro-oases that were separated by TWINSPAN analysis. The micro-oases at
Haughton Crater provide insights into the process of colonization of a
substrate resulting from an asteroid or comet impact and the unique
biological characteristics of such substrates.

Cockell CS, British Antarctic Survey, High Cross,Madingley Rd, Cambridge CB3
0ET, England
British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge CB3 0ET, England
NASA, Ames Res Ctr, SETI Inst, Moffett Field, CA 94035 USA
Dynamac Corp, Kennedy Space Ctr, FL 32899 USA
NASA, Lyndon B Johnson Space Ctr, Houston, TX 77058 USA
Univ Calif San Diego, Scripps Inst Oceanog, La Jolla, CA 92093 USA


>From Tumbling Stone, 30 September 2001

by Donald K. Yeomans * - Copyright Tumbling Stone 2001

On Saturday evening at 7:00 PM, sustained applause broke out in the Deep
Space 1 spacecraft control room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  The first
high resolution images of comet's Borrelly nucleus (dict.) had reached Earth
(see Figure 1).  The images were sharper than expected and revealed a very
dark, outgasing nucleus shaped a bit like a bowling pin  except this bowling
pin was nearly the size of Mt. Everest.  Examination of the surface features
reveals ridges, fault lines, and bright areas that are thought to be source
regions for the nucleus' jets (dict.) that emanate toward the solar
direction.  These jets are thought to be the vaporization of the comet's
ices as the active regions are heated by sunlight (see figure 2).

The strong linearity, or collimation, of these jets is a bit of a mystery
that scientists will have to solve in the near future.  Although the
infrared spectral data (T.S. technical card about light: infrared) and
charged particle detector data have not yet been completely analyzed, this
information should help determine the composition of these gases and hence
the nature of the parent ices of the comet's nucleus. 

Figure 1 (click on the image to see it bigger) This black and white image of
comet Borrelly's nucleus was taken while the spacecraft was about 3400 km
from the comet.  The dimensions of the nucleus are about 8 kilometers long
by at least 3.5 kilometers wide.  While the contrast of this image has been
altered to show surface features, the entire nucleus would appear coal black
to the naked eye.

Figure 2 (click on the image to see it bigger).

This image of comet Borrelly's nucleus has been purposely overexposed to
show the strongly collimated jets on the sunward side of the nucleus.  These
jets are thought to be composed mostly of water vapor and entrained dust

While the Deep Space 1 spacecraft (DS1) was not designed to encounter a
comet and lacked any dust shielding to protect it from the bullet-like dust
particle environment through which it was moving, DS1 survived the flyby
without a problem.  All the science data were successfully received on Earth
within a few hours after the flyby itself.  The DS1 spacecraft was designed
to test various space technologies including the ion drive engine that first
ionizes xenon and then electrostatically accelerated these charged particles
to form a modest, but continuous, rocket thrust.  Before running out of
fuel, and without the used of a star tracker to provide orientation
information to the spacecraft, the DS1 operations team had to work hard to
keep the spacecraft operating and pointed properly.  They did so with
remarkable success.  The lessons learned from this comet encounter will be
used in the next ten years to facilitate the five upcoming cometary
encounters provided by the CONTOUR, Stardust, Deep Impact, and Rosetta

Donald K. Yeomans (*) NASA/JPL, Near-Earth Object program office

For more information, see:
Images: courtesy of NASA/JPL


>From Tumbling Stone 2001, 30 September 2001

by Luigi Foschini * - Copyright Tumbling Stone 2001

The third edition of the International Conference Meteoroids has been held
in Kiruna (Sweden), from 6 to 10 August 2001, hosted by the Swedish
Institute of Space Physics. Our hosts, with the leadership of Asta
Pellinen-Wannberg, make it a very well organized meeting, during which we
can friendly speak of science, but also visit and appreciate the beautiful
and wild region of Lappland.

The conference opened on August 6th with the talk by Bertil Lindblad about
visual and radar observations of Perseids from 1953 to 1983. Indeed, the
conference was also an occasion to celebrate the 80th birthday of Lindblad
and his long and valuable career in meteor science. 

The first day went on with some other talks about the structure and dynamics
of meteoroid streams, among them the talks given by I.P. Williams on the
ejection speed of meteoroids from comets and by V.V. Emel'yanenko about the
role of resonances on the structure of meteoroid streams. The afternoon was
devoted specifically to the Leonids. One of the most interesting arguments
of this session was the confirmation of very high altitude meteors, i.e.
with a beginning height higher than 130 km. Noah Brosch presented a talk
with the detection of meteors at height up to 450 km with a peak at 250 km.

The second day was devoted to the physics and chemistry of meteors: talks by
Ed Murad, Ulf von Zahn showed the importance of alkaline metals, such as
potassium and sodium, in the chemistry of meteors. This was reprised later
by John Plane in his talk given the morning of Wednesday, while presenting
the impact on the atmosphere of extraterrestial dust, mainly the metallic
layers (sodium, etc.) in the upper atmosphere.

Wednesday was the critical day of the meetings - and probably the most
interesting day - where two conception of meteor science were presented
together. From one side, we have classical meteor radar and the
interpretation of the radio echo in terms of geometrical optics (Baggaley,
Jones, Webster, Pecina, Elford). The other side collected the new large
aperture radars, such as Arecibo, Jicamarca, EISCAT, etc.
(Pellinen-Wannberg, Mathews, Zhou, Hunt, Erickson...). In this case, the
interpretation of the radio echo was done by means of plasma physics
(Oppenheim, Druyd). In this day, one could see the "old" and the "new"
facing each other. But - it is my personal thought - it is not a matter of
one or the other interpretation: we need both of them to investigate
meteors, and probably they are equivalent or depending each other. Future
works will give answers.

Thursday morning opened with fireballs and bolides, with the spectacular
talks by Borovicka and Brown. In addition, Doug ReVelle talked about
infrasonic sound and fragmentation of large meteoroids. The Tagish lake
meteorite was of extreme interest, because it is the first recovered
meteorite with very high porosity (density 1.6 g/cm3, so that the density of
the original body should be even smaller, because during the atmospheric
entry the meteoroid is compacted by aerodynamic load). This event was
possible because of the extreme luck: indeed, the meteorite fell in a frozen
lake, so it was possible to recover a large set of uncontaminated pieces.

The morning ended with another interesting argument of meteoroids:
hypervelocity impact effects on spacecraft (Drolshagen, Ekstrand).

Friday, the last day, was dedicated entirely to interplanetary and
interstellar dust: among all the talks, it is worth noting that by Jones,
who showed a model of interplanetary distribution of meteoroids, where the
sources of short period and long period comets can explain the distribution
observed with the Harvard Radio Meteor Project. An interesting review talk
was given by E. Grün, who spoke about the dust astronomy and dust detector
on board space probes as telescopes.

The conference ended with the appointment to the next meeting in Canada

To know more, visit, where there is also a
photo of all participants.

Luigi Foschini - Istituto TESRE , CNR Bologna


>From Andrew Yee <>

News Service
Department of Public Information
United Nations

4 October 2001

Outer space continues to inspire, provide benefits to all humanity, Annan

As outer space exploration continues to inspire people and lead to
technologies that can benefit all people, World Space Week
[ ] was an occasion to
"rededicate ourselves to sharing those inspirations and discoveries with all
humanity," Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

"Space is a part of the world's cultural heritage," Mr. Annan said in a
message marking the annual observance of World Space Week, which runs from
today to 10 October. "It has inspired generations of artists, poets,
scientists and musicians. Throughout history, societies have admired and
searched for meaning in the same night sky."

Space exploration can even help bring cultures together, the
Secretary-General noted, as today's manned space missions were rarely
top-secret national projects. "Much more common are international crews,
with members from a variety of backgrounds," he said. "Their missions
capture the imaginations not only of their native lands, but of people
around the world."

Meanwhile, space technology has produced tools that were transforming
weather forecasting, environmental protection, humanitarian assistance,
education, medicine, agriculture and a wide range of other activities. "And,
of course, a fascination with space leads many young people to pursue
careers in science and technology, helping developing countries in
particular to build up their human resources, improve their technological
base and enhance their prospects for development," the Secretary-General

World Space Week, which this year has the theme "Inspiration from Space,"
marks the launching of the Sputnik-1 satellite in 1957 and the entry into
force of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and will be celebrated in at least 20


News Service
Department of Public Information
United Nations

28 September 2001



Following is the text of a message from Secretary-General Kofi Annan on
occasion of World Space Week (4-10 October 2001):

The theme for this year's observance of World Space Week, "Inspiration from
Space", celebrates the many ways in which space has improved our lives by
sparking creativity in the arts and sciences.

Space is a part of the world's cultural heritage. It has inspired
generations of artists, poets, scientists and musicians. Throughout history,
societies have admired and searched for meaning in the same night sky.

Indeed, space exploration can help bring cultures together. Manned space
missions today are rarely top-secret national projects. Much more common are
international crews, with members from a variety of backgrounds. Crews live
together in cramped and challenging conditions for months, sharing
experiences, customs and, above all, the enthusiasm for space that brought
them together in the first place. Their missions capture the imaginations
not only of their native lands, but of people around the world.

Space is also helping us to address some of today's most urgent problems.
Space technology has produced tools that are transforming weather
forecasting, environmental protection, humanitarian assistance, education,
medicine, agriculture and a wide range of other activities. And, of course,
a fascination with space leads many young people to pursue careers in
science and technology, helping developing countries in particular to build
up their human resources, improve their technological base and enhance their
prospects for development.

World Space Week is an occasion to be inspired anew by the wonders of outer
space -- and to rededicate ourselves to sharing those inspirations and
discoveries with all humanity.


>From Andrew Yee <>

[,3858,4269547,00.html ]

Thursday October 4, 2001

Ground control

Can data from satellites help monitor disasters? Sanjida O'Connell reports

By Sanjida O'Connell, The Guardian

NASA is starting to use its satellites to monitor disasters worldwide with a
new technique know as Rapid Response. The information will be made freely
available on the Earth Observatory website. Rapid Response has been
developed in conjunction with the University of Maryland to monitor forest
fires. It has now been broadened to process data on dust, smoke and aerosol
emissions and will, in the future, be used to keep an eye on severe storms,
volcanoes, drought and floods.

"We have been delivering data," says Dr Christopher Fine, from the
department of geography at the University of Maryland, "but we have not been
delivering data in a timely and useable fashion." Rapid Response aims to
change that by processing the data in a different way using algorithms
developed by a team of scientists at the University of Maryland and NASA, by
making images and data accessible within two to six hours of a disaster
occurring, and by coordinating links with other agencies so that information
is available to the right people. The Rapid Response system
uses exist ing satellites, Terra, SeaWiFS and Landsat satellites and will
use Aqua when it launches early next year. Landsat takes 18 days to orbit
the earth.

"It's a bit long to wait," says Fine, who oversees the team responsible for
responding to fires, "by that time everything will be dead." The Rapid
Response software coordinates information coming in from all the satellites.
For instance, Gosat, launched a year ago by NASA, covers half
a hemisphere at once but not at a high resolution. Terra has a
moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (Modis) which takes images
twice every 24 hours and has a resolution of 250m. The data is coordinated
and analysed at NASA's Goddard space flight centre and made available on the
web in the form of pictures almost immediately. More complex data on
temperature, cloud particle size, and plant productivity takes much longer
to composite.

The system was first tested by using images from Modis to tell America's
forestry service where fires were taking place, allowing them to monitor
fires on the internet within a few hours. Fine stresses that the images are
useful, but that for disaster monitoring to be effective, people on
the ground are also needed. A burned-area emergency rehabilitation (BAER)
team of soil scientists, hydrologists and wildlife specialists will use burn
severity maps derived from satellite and ground measurements to help them
take measures that will prevent further erosion, soil loss and any adverse
impacts to water quality. The maps will also help scientists identify
critical wildlife habitat affected by the fire and facilitate reforesting an

Dr Yoram Kaufman, based at NASA, is heading a team that looks at smoke and
aerosol dispersal. There is considerable evidence that fires can affect
climate. For instance, savanna fires in Africa may be responsible for the
elevation of ozone levels between southern Africa and South
America during the dry season. Fires are also estimated to contribute to a
third of global carbon monoxide and a fifth of the world's methane. The
release of aerosols can also influence the climate by reflecting solar
radiation back into space or by acting as a seed around which clouds
condense. Although Rapid Response for fires has been tailor-made to help the
forestry service, the team is working with Global Observation of Forest
Cover (GOFC) to make this an international programme by building regional
networks and scientists on the ground. They hope this will enable local
scientists to receive the data and feed it back to their community.

"They'll be acting like data-brokers," says Fine. NASA is also in the
process of discussing a way of monitoring drought, locust plagues, and
refugee movements as a way of acting as an early warning system for an
impending famine. In a supremely international spirit of collaboration,
Britain will also be launching a disaster monitoring system in 2002 -- with
China, Thailand, Singapore, Nigeria, the Netherlands and Chile. The idea is
that each country will have its own mini-satellite built by the University
of Surrey. The satellites weigh a dinky 50 kg and cost a
fraction of the price of a full size one, yet have between 70-95% of a
larger satellite's capacity. The satellites can transmit to a moveable
station in a jeep as well as to ground stations. Instead of waiting for one
satellite to fully orbit the earth, a suite of satellites will provide data
almost constantly.

A proportion of the data will be freely available to Reuters and to various
universities, some data would be shared between all participating countries,
and some information from a country's own satellite would be retained. For
example, Nigeria has little capacity to use satellite information, but could
sell its data. The ability to predict disasters on a global scale could be
invaluable, yet no agency has done this before. Dr Rob Solhlberg, from the
department of geography, University of Maryland, says: "Rapid Response
increases the capabilities of existing infrastructure. Modis has several
important capabilities which did not previously exist. It is the combination
of fine spatial resolution (250m), daily global coverage, and direct
broadcast capabilities which make the instrument uniquely suited to this

See Earth Observatory,

© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2001



>From Spaceflight Now, 8 October 2001

Posted: October 7, 2001

When the United States wages war against terrorism, it will fight looking
through the eyes of Air Force Space Command.

The United States will never go to war without the space systems operated by
AFSPC, said Gen. Ralph E. Eberhart, AFSPC commander.

"Whatever this nation does, wherever they do it, they're not going to leave
home without us," Eberhart said while discussing the role his command plays
in national defense and global stability. "The capabilities we provide in
terms of intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and global communication
are very important in the on-going Operation Enduring Freedom."

Operation Enduring Freedom is the military campaign to combat terrorism
announced by President Bush following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and
hijackings in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania.

The command's high-tech data is now more useful than ever, Eberhart said.
"The intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance imagery we're able to get
is much easier to read," he said. The data is also sent to U.S. warfighters
much more quickly thanks to how AFSPC operators receive the images from
satellites and pass along the data to battle commanders.

The military satellites operated by the command now provide information the
Department of Defense can not get reconnaissance aircraft like the U-2
Dragon Lady or SR-71 Blackbird. And those communication satellites enable
the United States to remain a global power.

In 1970, Eberhart logged 300 combat missions in Vietnam as a forward air
controller, learning first-hand the value of combat communications.

The accuracy of the munitions used in Vietnam was no where near the accuracy
of the precision-guided munitions used today. In large part that is because
of the Navstar Global Positioning System, or GPS, Eberhart said.

GPS is a space-based constellation of orbiting satellites that provides
navigation data to military and civilian users all over the world. The GPS
constellation is designed and operated as a 24-satellite system. GPS
satellites orbit the earth every 12 hours, emitting continuous navigation

The reason we're able to be so precise and usually destroy a target on the
first pass and not have to send our people back into harm's way is because
the munitions are precision-guided," Eberhart said.

The secure voice communication inside jet aircraft, which allows them to
talk to other jets and people on the ground, is synchronized by GPS, he

As DOD leaders view the current global situation through systems overhead
operated by AFSPC, Eberhart said the vivid images seen on TV Sept. 11 remind
all of us what we are fighting against.

"If we stop and think about those nearly 7,000 lives snuffed out,
unsuspecting," he said, "what we do in terms of deploying forward, leaving
family and friends for a period of time, pales compared to that tragedy." 

© 2001 Pole Star Publications Ltd


>From the BBC News Online, 7 October 2001
The satellite can track individuals on the ground

The United States has launched a satellite which intelligence analysts say
will probably be used to gather information in the global campaign against

The Titan IV rocket was launched from Vandenberg airforce base in California
on behalf of the US National Reconnaissance Office, a secretive agency
specialising in providing information for the CIA and the National Security

The rocket is believed to have been carrying a top secret KH-11 spy
satellite - that could monitor Afghanistan ahead of an expected military

The US Air Force refused to comment on the payload, but the NRO builds and
operates America's spy satellites and specialises in gathering pictures and
electronic data, such as telephone conversations on the ground.

Pin-point accuracy

Experts from Aviation Week and Space Technology Magazine said the satellite
was likely to be equipped with a digital camera able to pick out objects as
small as 10 cm (4 inches) across on the ground.

Orbiting hundreds of miles above the earth the 15 tonne KH-11 is capable of
tracking small groups of people walking on the ground as well as vehicle and
weapons movements.

It can monitor conversations and even spot campfires at night using infrared

Identifying the enemy

According to Aviation Magazine such information could be used to monitor the
movements of Taleban groups and refugees to help allied forces separate
potentially hostile groups from "non-combatants".

The United States is believed to have spy satellites over Afghanistan
already as US forces continue to build up nearby ahead of expected military

Before 1996 the NRO did not publicly disclose the launches of its

Copyright 2001, BBC


>From The Times, 8 October 2001,,248-2001350362,00.html

The campaign has begun and we must pray that it succeeds. The fight against
terror will be long and arduous but it has started well. Contrary to
expectation, there was no rush to military action, no instinctual reflex of
revenge. The West has been wise. It knows that terror must be fought on many
fronts, of which military action is only one.

That action must be focused, targeted and precise. It must be informed by
long-term strategic thinking and supported by the widest possible coalition
of nations. It must make ours a safer, not a more dangerous world. That will
not be achieved in one or two decisive confrontations.

The effort will be prolonged and will test our moral strength as a nation. I
have unshakable faith that we will rise to the challenge. Extremists bent on
violence always underestimate the strength of free societies. Within minutes
of the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, it was already
clear that the terrorists had failed in their ultimate objective. They aimed
at creating an atmosphere of panic and fear that would shake the West's
belief in itself.

After the initial shock, however, free human beings do not react with panic
and fear. They try to rescue, to help, to comfort, to heal. The wave of
solidarity that, within hours, went round the world was powerful testimony
to the strength of the human spirit. We will need it in the months ahead.

The political leaders of the world now need not only courage but also
wisdom. The risk of military action is that it may achieve too little or too
much. It will achieve too little if, even after the instigators of the
attack are brought to justice, thousands of their followers remain,
sheltered and resourced by countries hostile to democracy, their passions
fuelled by those who preach hate. It will achieve too much if it draws a
widening circle of countries into a global "clash of civilizations" of the
kind warned against by the Harvard analyst Samuel Huntington. At times like
this, politicians are called on to be statesmen, thinking not about tomorrow
but about the long-term future. Thus far the United States and Britain have
been blessed in their leaders. They deserve our support and our prayers.

None of us should underestimate what is at stake. We are at a critical
juncture between two possible futures. One is the globalisation of terror.
Internet, e-mail, the mobile phone and ease of travel have abolished
distance. Passengers on a plane or workers in an office can find themselves
suddenly caught up in a conflict that is not theirs and which began
hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles away. When this happens we are all
affected. We lose that trust and sense of security on which everyday life
depends. We are plunged into what Hobbes called a "state of nature", the
"war of all against all" in which life becomes "nasty, brutish and short",
or at the very least, etched with fear. That is a world we may learn to
endure, but it is not one we may responsibly give our children.

The other is a world in which we share our blessings. Globalisation is full
of benign possibilities if we choose to make it so. The Internet is the most
powerful means yet devised for universalising access to knowledge. New
technologies in medicine and agriculture will make it possible to treat
disease and famine across the globe. There is every reason - political,
economic and ethical - for the West to wish to share its prosperity with
others while respecting cultural and religious differences. But that will
happen only if terror is defeated. Partnership depends on trust.

What the world now faces is what individual nations faced when wars of
religion scarred the face of Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. That era
gave rise to the concept of a social contract. We now need a global
contract. It will take years to evolve but it should be based on the
following principles: first, a respect for cultural difference and no
attempt to impose Western culture on the world. Second, a commitment on the
part of the West to help developing countries to fight poverty and disease.
Third, a commitment by every nation to fight terrorism, giving it neither
resources nor refuge.

Religions too now face their greatest challenge since Europe four centuries
ago. Which will prevail: the prophetic vision of peace or the call to holy
war? As a religious believer, I must face the fact that religion is not
always a good thing. Usually it speaks to the best in us, but it can
sometimes speak to the worst. Religion is like fire. It warms, but it also
burns; and we are the guardians of the flame.

Each of us must have the courage to fight the extremists in our midst.
Children deserve better than to be taught to hate those with whom they must
one day learn to live. They deserve better than to be told to win their
place in paradise by committing suicide in the course of destroying innocent
lives. If that is not a blasphemy against the God of life, what is?

There was a time when most people lived surrounded by fellow believers.
Today, we live constantly and closely in the presence of cultures radically
different from our own. That is what gives rise to fundamentalism: the
attempt to impose a single truth on a plural world. If religion is to rise
to the challenge of a global age it must oppose fundamentalism in the name
of faith itself. God creates diversity and calls on us to honour it. He has
placed His image in those who are not in our image. He speaks to mankind in
many languages, not one. Today the future of religion is at stake no less
than the future of the West. God has given us many faiths but only one world
in which to learn to live together. And if not now, when?

The author is the Chief Rabbi
Copyright 2001 Times Newspapers Ltd. 


>From The Daily Telegraph, 8 October 2001

NOW that the allied onslaught on the Taliban has begun, for an alarmingly
high proportion of Afghanistan's population, the outlook as a vicious winter
approaches is becoming desperate.

The consequences of a conflict spread over 20 years, mass human displacement
and a severe drought in the north of the country have proved grievous. It is
going to take a supreme effort to prevent up to five million people from
starving to death. Some 70 per cent of them are women and children, and 20
per cent are children under the age of five.

Weighing the risk of such a human catastrophe, this newspaper has decided,
outside the season of our annual appeal for charities, to seek its readers'
support for the effort being made by the United Nations Children's Fund.
Unicef's response is not merely a promise, it is already under way. Its help
will be crucial in setting up refugee camps and aid for fleeing Afghans. It
needs £23.5 million to support this mission and most of it will have to come
from voluntary contributions.

In recent years, the world has grown sadly accustomed to crises of this
kind; but none of them has been on this scale. There is little likelihood
that this effort, combined with what other agencies are trying to do, will
be wholly successful. Reading the signs, we see it as almost inevitable that
starvation will overtake some of those in the least accessible parts of the
country. All we can hope for on Unicef's behalf is that many innocent lives
in this long-suffering country will be saved, and that much suffering will
be eased. It is on that account we ask our readers for their support.

© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2001. 


UNICEF Seeks More than $35 Million In Emergency Relief For Afghan Children
Non-Food Aid Emphasizes Medicine, Immunization, Safe Water, Education

GENEVA / NEW YORK, 28 September 2001 - The United Nations Children's Fund
today said it needs more than $35 million in special donor support to help
the children and women of Afghanistan survive a humanitarian crisis that
features a trio of threats - drought, war, and winter.

Previous UNICEF Press Releases on Afghanistan
The UNICEF emergency appeal is part of a larger relief drive announced by
the United Nations on Thursday, totaling over $582 million, mostly covering
food and shelter for an estimated 7.5 million people in need.

UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy, speaking in Geneva, said that while
her agency's humanitarian appeal represents a relatively small portion of
the total funding request, "it will have a very large impact on the health
and survival of children."

"We're talking about millions of people who simply won't make it through the
winter without humanitarian relief," Bellamy said. "With the eyes of the
world focused on Afghanistan there is a real opportunity to save lives. But
we need help now in order to do it."

For more on UNICEF's role in the Afghanistan crisis
Bellamy said that of the estimated 7.5 million Afghans who may have to rely
on international relief to survive, 20 per cent are children under the age
of five. A total of 70 per cent are children and women.

UNICEF will use the funds it receives to provide life-saving medicines,
water purification supplies, nutritional supplements for malnourished
youngsters, oral re-hydration salts to combat deadly diarrhea, and other
relief items including blankets, clothing, water containers, and education
kits for makeshift classrooms.

Already a series of UNICEF relief flights into the region are underway. One
flight will arrive in Peshawar, Pakistan, this weekend carrying nearly 40
tonnes of relief supplies, including medicines. Another full flight will
arrive in the Turkmenistan town of Turkmenabad on Sunday. At least three
more airlifts will arrive later in the week to a variety of locations.

Bellamy said UNICEF, along with other UN agencies, is positioning relief
supplies throughout the region as close to the borders of Afghanistan as
possible, to be available if a crisis develops on Afghanistan's borders, or
otherwise to be trucked into Afghanistan as soon as the situation stabilizes
and borders re-open.

"Either way, we're going to try to get these supplies to the children who
need them," Bellamy said. "The truth is, there was always going to be a
humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan this winter. It just happens that the
world is watching now."


For further information contact:

Liza Barrie, UNICEF Media Section, New York
Tel.: 212-326-7593,

Alfred Ironside, UNICEF Media Section, New York
Tel: 212-326-7261, e-mail:


>From The Economist Global Agenda, 3 October 2001

Will the next terrorist attack involve biological, chemical or nuclear
weapons? How worried should we be?
BEFORE the dust had settled, before more than a fraction of the dead had
been named, rescue workers were picking over the debris of the World Trade
Centre with test tubes. Soon after, all crop-spraying aircraft were grounded
for several days. America's government was terrified that the atrocity of
September 11th might be followed by something even worse. Suppose that
equally unscrupulous terrorists were to get their hands on chemical,
biological or even nuclear weapons. They would surely use them.

Osama bin Laden, the head of al-Qaeda, the terrorist network thought to be
behind the attack on America, may already have such weapons, and be planning
to use them in response to any American military strikes. How real is that

For terrorists prepared to die, the easiest way to spread poisonous or
radioactive materials might be simply to fly into repositories of them, or
to use lorries full of them as suicide bombs. There are some 850,000 sites
in the United States alone at which hazardous chemicals are produced,
consumed or stored. Ominously, several men were arrested in America last
week with fraudulently-obtained permits to drive trucks that carry such
hazardous loads. Mr bin Laden has called it a "religious duty" to acquire
weapons of mass destruction, and has boasted of buying "a lot of dangerous
weapons, maybe chemical weapons" for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan that
now harbours him.

It's harder than you think

Fortunately, turning chemical, biological or nuclear materials into usable
weapons is not that easy. First, you have to acquire or manufacture
sufficient quantities of the lethal agent. Second, you have to deliver it to
the target. And third, you have either to detonate it, or to spread it
around in a way that will actually harm a lot of people.
Evil, but incompetent
In 1995, an apocalyptic Japanese cult called Aum Shinrikyo released a potent
nerve agent called sarin on the Tokyo subway. The intention was to kill
thousands. In fact, only 12 people died. The cult's researchers had spent
more than $30m attempting to develop sarin-based weapons, yet they failed to
clear any of the three hurdles. They could not produce the chemical in the
purity required. Their delivery mechanism was simply to carry plastic bags
of sarin on to the trains. And their idea of a distribution system was to
pierce those bags with umbrella tips to release the liquid, which would then

The attack, in other words, was not a great success. Yet, of the three
classes of weapon of mass destruction, those based on chemicals should be
the easiest to make. Their ingredients are often commercially available, and
their manufacturing techniques are well known. They have been used from time
to time in real warfare, so their deployment is also understood.

Biological weapons are trickier; and nuclear weapons trickier still. Germs
need to be coddled, and are hard to spread. (Aum Shinrikyo attempted to
develop biological weapons, in the form of anthrax spores, but failed to
produce the intended lethal effects.) Making atomic bombs is an even greater
technological feat. Manufacturing weapons-grade nuclear explosives is
fantastically expensive, and detonating a bomb is notoriously difficult.

Joint ventures

Nevertheless, there may be ways round these obstacles. One quick fix would
be to hire unemployed weapons specialists from the former Soviet Union. Some
of these people are known to have left Russia for Iran, Iraq, China and
North Korea, but none has yet been directly associated with any terrorist

America has, over the past ten years, spent more than $3 billion dismantling
former Soviet nuclear weapons, improving security at Russia's nuclear
storage sites, and keeping former weaponeers busy on useful civilian work.
But only a tiny fraction of this money goes towards safeguarding chemical
and biological secrets. And even the nuclear side of things has sprung the
odd leak.

There have been numerous attempts to smuggle nuclear materials out of the
former Soviet Union, and there are unconfirmed suspicions that Iran, for
one, may have got its hands on a Russian nuclear warhead. So far, though,
police and customs officers have seized mostly low-grade nuclear waste. This
could not be turned into a proper atomic bomb, but with enough of it, a
terrorist group might hope to build a "radiological" device, to spread
radioactive contamination around. Fortunately, the occasional amounts of
weapons-grade stuff that have been found so far fall short of the 9-15kg
needed for a workable bomb.

Theories of deterrence

The most effective way for a terrorist group to make nuclear weapons would
be to find a government that is willing to allow access to its laboratories
or its arsenal. After the Gulf war, UN inspectors discovered that Iraq had
come within months of building an atomic bomb. The effort, however, is
thought to have taken a decade and to have cost Saddam Hussein upwards of
$10 billion. He acquired much of the necessary equipment from abroad, either
by bribing suppliers or by pretending that it was for use in harmless
fermentation plants and vaccine laboratories. When the inspectors were
thrown out of Iraq in 1998, they were convinced that while most of Mr
Hussein's nuclear programme had been destroyed, along with much of his
missile and chemical arsenal, important parts of the biological effort
remained hidden.

More than two dozen countries are thought to have built weapons of mass
destruction, or else are trying to do so. But there is no evidence that any
of these governments has helped terrorist groups to acquire such weapons. It
is one thing to give terrorist groups money or a place to hide. It is quite
another to give a nuclear suitcase bomb to an outfit such as al-Qaeda, which
no government can control.

Nevertheless, the prospect that some state could help a terrorist group
overcome the significant hurdles to deploying a biological, chemical or
nuclear weapon is frightening. Since the September 11th attacks, American
officials have stressed that not only the terrorists involved in any future
assaults, but also the states that shelter them, can expect to find
themselves in the cross-hairs. Deterrence has worked in the past, at least
against states. Mr Hussein used chemical weapons against his own Kurdish
subjects, but was too afraid to do so against American troops during the
Gulf war, because America had promised massive retaliation if he did. But
such threats may not be so effective against shadowy terrorist networks.
Where do you aim the retaliatory missiles? And it is not clear whether even
states such as Iraq and North Korea, which operate largely outside
international law, can be deterred from lending a secret helping hand to a
group such as Mr bin Laden's, if they believe they can do so undetected.

Of intelligence and imagination

In 1998, America bombed a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant which it said showed
traces of a precursor chemical for VX, a highly potent nerve gas that
inspectors believe Iraq had put into weapon form. Some observers speculate
that, even if Sudan's denials that it was manufacturing any such stuff are
true, the country may have served as a trans-shipment point for supplies to
Iraq. Might some weapons assistance have flowed the other way, possibly
reaching Mr bin Laden's network, which used to operate out of Sudan? Iraq
denies it has had anything to do with Mr bin Laden, but there have been
unconfirmed reports that one of the New York hijackers met a senior Iraqi
intelligence official earlier this year in Europe.

The number of potential suppliers of weapons technology has expanded over
the past decade. Countries that were once dependent on outside help, mostly
from Russia and China, are now going into business themselves. North Korea,
for example, has created a thriving missile- and technology-export business
with Iran, Pakistan, Syria and others in the Middle East. It is unlikely
that any such ballistic-missile technology would find its way into terrorist
hands any time soon. But all technologies tend to get cheaper, and to
spread. Even if there is no immediate threat, it may eventually not be just
hijacked aircraft that are flying into places that terrorists have taken a
dislike to. And their "warheads" may consist of something worse than
aviation fuel.

Copyright 2001, The Economist


>From Michael Paine <>

Dear Benny

I have been contacted by Roy Tucker from the Goodricke-Pigott Observatory in
Arizona. Roy has been developing techniques that could enable amateur
astronomers to make significant contributions to Spaceguard and other fields
of astronomy that depend on detecting changes in the night sky. Roy's
impressive work is described at
It would be useful if someone experienced in this field could post a review
of Roy's work on CCNet and its potential to contribute to Spaceguard.

The Spacedaily item on planetary protection in CCNet 1 Oct 01 was
interested. I have just read the October 2001 (paper) edition of Astronomy
Now that described Jupiter space missions. It make the point that NASA is
insisting that the Gallileo spacecraft that has been orbiting Jupiter for
several years will end its life by being plunged into Jupiter rather than
risk a crash landing on Europa and possibly contaminating that watery moon
with Earth-life.

That edition of the magazine also has an item "What is a Minor Planet?" that
I developed from the item posted on CCNet last year
( ) suggesting "Microplanet"
as the collective term for comets and asteroids.

Michael Paine


>From Michael Martin-Smith <>

Dear Benny,

While at the IAF Congress in Toulouse last week, I learned some interesting
and heartening information- from no less a person than the former head of
INPE- the Brazilian Space Agency, Dr Marcio Barbosa, now President of the
IAF and Deputy Director of UNESCO.

This was to the effect that recently the Amazon Rain Forest (some 5 million
square kilometres) , widely held to be the Earth's lungs, are now, for the
first time, under the effective surveillance and management of the Brazilian
government, and that the days of unstoppable deforestation are behind us.

This feat he ascribes entirely to the indispensable use of satellite based
Earth resource monitoring on an operational basis-recently greatly enhanced
by the China Brazil Earth Resources Satellite programme (CBERS).

Insofar as the health of the Brazilian Tropical rain forests can be said to
be very important for the environment in which we live, it can justly be
claimed - as some have long done - that our future as a civilized species is
not only aided by space technology, but impossible without it.

Further, that the idea that Space is only for rich ex Cold Warriors or Sci
Fi fantasists is now thoroughly passe. Since a large proportion of our youth
apparently currently believes just that, it is time to put them right! The
emerging interest by some African states in space technology is a sign that
realization of this truth is spreading and offers potential hope for a
beleaguered continent.

Our own studies in the long term future of civilization and indeed its past,
only attest further to the need for continuing Space development - but it is
good to know that we have an unanswerable case to put to those who
traditionally oppose Space and other technology!

Michael Martin-Smith


>From Hermann Burchard <>

Dear Benny,

the obituary for Rhys Jones in THE TIMES (of London):,,60-2001344524,00.html

It is there reported that he held to the traditional view of fairly recent
immigration into Australia by Aboriginal humans. Among his many and broad
contributions, so THE TIMES, is that he has pushed back the traditional date
by a quite bit, to 60 Ka. Recent finds however suggest ages of 800 Ka for E
Indonesia, east of the Wallace Sea, and hence in all likelyhood also for
Australia (and even older ages in Northern Eurasia, see below).

Many anthropologists including, as reported by THE TIMES, Rhys Jones and a
Stanford University group led by P. A. Underhill espouse the wide-spread
notion that modern man recently moved out of Africa. Another group led by M.
F. Hammer of the University of Arizona and several more are all quoting each
other's results in support of the African origin hypothesis.

Attempting to understand the great volume of data and the intricate partly
mathematical inferences offered in their articles, genetic and geographic
evidences combined, the main result appears to be embodied in various trees,
i.e., branching networks without closed paths (loops), for the human family,
which in the version of a "maximum parsimony tree"  have a root that is
identified primarily with the S African Khoisan (Bushmen). This, the African
origin thesis, appears to be vulnerable on several accounts.

First, discovery of a single ancient genotype or in the case of
non-re-combining Y-chromatine, a single haplotype, in some remote part of
Asia or Australia, could upset the conclusion of an African root of the

Second, from independent lines of research, extinction events have pruned
the actual human family tree, cutting it to pieces and changing its toplogy
so that current geographic distributions bear no resemblance to actual
populations of origin.  The supposed recent (~75 Ka) African origin of the
Khoisan genotype could be an illusion caused by such extinctions. The human
genus is now known to have an age of 1.8 Ma with dated skeletal remains from
Eurasia and Africa.  Discovery of paleolithic artifacts in N China put human
occupation there as far back as 1.36 Ma, see last week's CCNet of Oct. 1

Third, strikingly genetic distance is used to estimate age, and yet in some
publications the supposedly recent Khoisan have a very small genetic
distance from the hominoids (=great apes). The racial affinity between the
Khoisan (Bushmen) and E Asians has been mentioned often by travelers and
anthropologists (yet seems doubtful to me except in a wider sense), but in
any case, both groups must have resided in their areas for very long times,
not just the last ice age.

Fourth, several interesting approaches are being offered for mathematical
treatment of haplotype trees (genotype descent networks have a toplogy
including loops hence inherently are more complex than trees) in a
geographic context, but a full treatment may not yet have been attempted.
These trees, which it must be stressed are based purely on speculation with
not a scintilla of empirical proof of paleontological reality, are,
moreover, notoriously unstable.  An expert source suggested this academic

The case treated there admittedly may differ in character from the hominid
family tree. The crucial question of geography is not being considered.
There are > 1500, resp. > 1000, male Y-chromosomes used in two papers by
Hammer et al, resp. Underhill et al.  The branching patterns of these trees
do not seem to be in doubt, and yet:  The cited lack of stability implies
that these trees although correctly representing the KNOWN DATA may not be
real as far as ACTUAL DESCENT in its geographical association is concerned.

Cautionary statements are included in the papers by the two groups as to
limitations of the methods used and hence the limited force of inferences to
be drawn. The authors sometimes even sound outright lukewarm. With these
overt attitudes of the original workers, the enthusiastic chorus of
publications quoting the "recent African Y-chromosome" as being found in all
males world-wide seems a bit overdone. It probably is an extremely ancient
Y-chromosome originating world-wide with the first humans, 1.8 Ma ago, and
today preserved only in the Khoisan who until the arrival in S Africa of the
Dutch in the 16th century (on the seaway to Batavia) had
remained genetically isolated.

There is enough classical anthropological evidence (bones, tools,
climatology, geography) for the regional origin hypothesis, as far as I can
ascertain, despite contrived arguments to the contrary. A compelling recent
disovery are population bottlenecks from not infrequent global and
local catastrophic extinction events, probably occurring throughout the
Pleistocene. It is a sorrowful thought that perhaps his untimely, much too
early death had something to do with Rhys Jones seeing his life's work drawn
into controversy and politics (and here I am speculating), distracting from
his many other, valuable additions to empiricism.



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