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
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. Thats 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
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
Crooked Creek, Missouri.
Flynn Creek and
Wells Creek, Tennessee could also belong to the "serial impact" sites known
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
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
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