[meteorite-list] Re: Frass Rock and Michael Moore

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:37:33 2004
Message-ID: <200012081844.KAA12018_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>

> Yes, I did deal with Mr. Moore and his marvellous martian meteorite.
> He wrote to his congressman and senators complaining that he had
> not been given a fair hearing by NASA. The complaint went to NASA
> Legislative affairs, and then down to the bottom of the pecking -- me.
> After several false starts, I did meet with Mr. Moore and his rock,
> examined it, looked at a thin section, and studied the chemical analyses
> that Mr. Moore had obtained. Putting this all together, there was no
> evidence at all that the rock was a meteorite, or was like the SNC martian
> meteorites. The report to NASA was about 33 pages.

Incidently, I also was contacted by Mr. Moore about 4 years ago. He sent me a sample,
of the rock and it was obviously not a meteorite. He also had Robert Haag and a
couple of people from Johnson Space Center look at it, and they all also determined
that it was not a meteorite. It later turned out the composition and age of the
rock matches the rocks from nearby (now extinct) volanoes. I also have a statement
from Mr. Moore claiming his rock is *not* from Mars:

  I don't believe my rock is from Mars. Let me explain. I have been a
  scientist virtually all my life and the essence of good science is
  doubt. A scientist never makes up his mind completely, because there
  may be new evidence which will cause him to re-think something that he
  once held as true. Science is about the building of models by which we
  can understand nature. As we learn new things, we compare them to the
  models we currently have and look for consistency between the new
  information and the models. Science never accepts anything as
  absolutely true, but judges things as true by probabilities based on
  how closely the "fact" fits the model we are using. So I don't believe
  my rock is from Mars.

Later on, he found some dead insects in the rock, claimed this was evidence
that the rock was a meteorite from Mars, and put it on ebay for 1 million dollars.
Naturally, there were no bids on the rock.

Ron Baalke
Received on Fri 08 Dec 2000 01:44:18 PM PST

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