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The faint outline of a possible impact site surrounded by a network of dendritic channels.
Credit: Kevin Evans Southwest Missouri State University/SRTM

Aug 27, 2008
The Weaubleau-Osceola Structure

Many craters on Earth, as well as other planets and moons, point to the action of electric arc machining and not to asteroid impacts.

The Weaubleau-Osceola impact site has confounded geologists since they began to ponder its origin in the early 1950s. The rock strata surrounding the location is compressed and uplifted with pervasive faulting. The extensive fields of breccia convinced most researchers that there had once been extreme volcanic events and other terrestrial processes – most did not consider an impact source until much later.

Combining visual clues from satellite mapping of Missouri and Illinois, as well as a physical analysis of the minerals in the area, Kevin Evans and his colleagues at SMSU may have subsequently discovered the fourth largest "impact structure" in the United States – the Manson Impact Structure in Iowa being the largest (35 kilometers in diameter).

Because the Weaubleau-Osceola crater is 19 kilometers wide, it remained hidden in plain sight. It wasn't until Evans reviewed a thumbnail image of the larger features from combined U.S. Geological Society maps that he saw the eroded outline of the formation.

Evans remarked: “I drove to Osceola to visit the site after I had found it through computer mapping. That’s when I saw the polymict breccia and other tantalizing features. A week or so later, half of the department, geology students and faculty, were poring over the roadcuts and quarry exposures.”

Polymict breccias are conglomerated minerals of differing composition that display a half-melted and fused interior. The matrix will often include quartz and other extremely hard and dense materials fractured into knife-edged fragments that are nonetheless imbedded in the stone. They appear to have been broken and then frozen in place without any sign of melting – similar to the stones mixed with cement that makeup concrete. Although polymict breccias can form in other ways (according to standard theories) such as compression waves and heat from a volcanic explosion, the majority of breccias from the site indicates an impact event.

Another significant but anomalous feature of Weaubleau-Osceola is the folded limestone rock beds that surround the central impression. Folds and faults are putative examples of tremendous shockwaves that travel through the crust after a hypothetical asteroid strikes the Earth. The pressure front is said to cause the strata to behave as a liquid for a brief instant, pushing outward like a wave in the ocean. Once the wavefront passes, the layers of stone instantly freeze in place. If the formations are in a precarious position – the wave crest overhangs a void, for instance – the stone will crack from gravitational forces and display massive faulting.

Sandstone is the primary surface layer on top of the breccias surrounding the crater and is thought to be 310 million years old, as scientists understand geological history. The limestone formations below the sandstone overburden correlate to a date of approximately 340 million years, making Weaubleau-Osceola (supposedly) about as old as Popigai crater or the Manicouagan Impact Structure. The limestone and breccia appear to have eroded before the sandstone formed on top, so the crater is thought to be much older.

Dr. Evans writes: “One of the truly amazing aspects of the Weaubleau-Osceola impact site is that it was more or less hermetically sealed following the event, give or take a few million to tens of millions of years ... amazing for [a structure] more than 300 million years old.”

In rocks just outside the original crater wall boundaries, peculiar configurations known as shattercones are found in abundance. The striated conical structures can be very small or can be of great length. In the quartzite crystals surrounding the Sudbury, Canada Impact Structure (250 kilometers in diameter) are shattercones that are more than two meters long. Graphing the original positions of the cones, their apices invariably point toward the central crater floor. The cones can, in effect, denote where the energy was released. Shattercones make craters like Weaubleau-Osceola incompatible with volcanic sources as was once advocated.

The crater might also belong to a chain of craters that have been found in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. Two other members of the chain are in Decaturville and Crooked Creek, Missouri. Flynn Creek and Wells Creek, Tennessee could also belong to the "serial impact" sites known as the 38th parallel anomaly.

As we have noted in previous Picture of the Day articles about Electric Discharge Machining (EDM) and the effect of plasma arcs on planets and moons, the fact that many of these crater-like formations are lined up across the countryside points to the activity of a gargantuan traveling electric discharge.

At each touchdown point the arc could have burned a crater with distinctive morphology: a wide, flat bottom, a central peak, or, perhaps, multiple peaks as in the Flynn Creek formation, indistinct outline (or tear-drop perimeter), accumulation of melted slag piled into mega-breccias filled with conglomerated minerals and many other identifying characteristics.

One of those characteristics is the plethora of stone spheres found on open ground near the crater and as far away as the Ozark Mountains. Geologists theorize the "Missouri rock balls" are chert concretions. When the asteroid struck the Earth, they say, it blasted up gravel-sized pieces of shale that fell back into wet ground containing silica-rich solutions. Over ages of time the silica was deposited in layers, causing the nodules to grow like pearls in an oyster.

In another Picture of the Day about the "mysterious" stone eggs of China, a hypothesis was offered that explained the spheres in terms of electric arcs compressing soil and gravel inside the Bennett pinches of twisting Birkeland currents. Tremendous electrodynamic forces actually force the ingredients into shape, crushing them together with pressures that are difficult to achieve even with the most powerful hydraulic rams.

The Lichtenberg trackways that outline the Weaubleau-Osceola Structure are another defining example of electricity acting on a planet-wide scale. Such trackways have been linked to Chesapeake Bay, the coast of Greenland and the formation of underground caverns.

From the Electric Universe perspective, it is more likely that electricity carved out these shapes in moments of time a short while ago, relatively speaking. It is possible that the memory of humanity on this planet carries with it the remains of eyewitness accounts that our ancestors passed down to us in the form of myths and fables. Their experiences changed the human imperative and began a journey into the future that is probably quite different from what it once was.

By Stephen Smith


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