Looting our planet’s past

Within days of a tornado that destroyed 90% of Greensburg, KS, at least 7 people have been arrested for looting the town:

Four soldiers and a reserve police officer were arrested Sunday on suspicion of looting cigarettes and alcohol from a store in this tornado-ravaged town, state officials said.

In a separate incident, two people wearing Red Cross jackets who were not members of the relief agency were arrested Sunday on suspicion of looting, said Sharon Watson, a spokeswoman for the adjutant general’s office.

I’m sure that the same people who thought we should deny aid to New Orleans because people trapped in the city were seen taking food from stores will now rail against the federal assistance being given to the town. As was my position then, I think that taking food from a store that’s been destroyed is probably not the end of the world, and not too much to get agitated about (though people who happen to have a spare Red Cross jacket probably aren’t stealing food because they can’t afford it from the Dillon’s in their own town).

What bugs me more is that the 1,000 pound pallasite meteorite, one of the world’s largest, is gone. So is the rest of the town’s meteorite collection. That collection wasn’t just an important part of the town’s tourism industry, right alongside it’s hand-dug well (which is presumed to be intact underneath the wreckage). The meteorites were part of what could have been a wonderful experiment in scientific advocacy for the region.

Meteorite hunters travel to the area to hunt for fragments of the Brenham meteorite and other meteorites which have been found in the area. As people recognize the commercial oppotunities involved, they’ve gotten more active in promoting the region, which means learning about the meteorites. Chondrites like the Beardsley meteorite (which fell nearby in 1929) help us date the age of earth. They formed around the same time that the planets did, and have been accurately dated to over 4 billion years old.

Festivals celebrating these alien rocks give the area’s citizens a chance to be proud of the area’s scientific heritage, and give chances to talk about science in ways that connect people’s daily lives with cosmic time scales. If someone stole those meteorites, they stole a piece of that town’s heritage, its future, and our planet’s past.

Update: The meteorite is not missing.

Comments

  1. #1 Joe
    May 7, 2007

    The meteorite has been found – http://www.kansas.com/233/story/63810.html – it hadn’t moved an inch.

  2. #2 Jonathan Vos Post
    May 7, 2007

    If they had NOT found them, I’d be suggesting that they were actually stolen by Creationist Extraterrestrials.

  3. #3 Josh Rosenau
    May 7, 2007

    Odd that reports on the missing meteorite went out before checking under the museum’s walls. That is very good news.

  4. #4 Caledonian
    May 8, 2007

    It’s very tempting to jump to conclusions before doing the proper investigation, isn’t it.

  5. #5 Mousie Cat
    May 8, 2007

    I’ll be very interested to hear Jerry Falwell’s or Pat Robertson’s comments on the destruction of Greensburg, Kansas. I wonder what in the world those people did to merit God’s wrath in the form of a killer tornado whose winds were clocked at over 200 mph, the fastest rotation ever recorded.

  6. #6 Cheryl Shepherd-Adams
    May 8, 2007

    We won’t hear a peep from Falwell or Robertson. Greensburg lies in KSBE District 7, which returned creationist Ken Willard to the KS state board of education in the 2006 elections.

  7. #7 Mister Twister
    May 8, 2007

    …a killer tornado whose winds were clocked at over 200 mph, the fastest rotation ever recorded.

    Not by a long shot. The Greensburg tornado had a max windspeed of about 205 mph. The F5 tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma, on May 3, 1999, had winds of 301 +/- 20 mph.

  8. #8 B.G.
    June 13, 2007

    TORNADO STOP MECHANISM
    B. Gillis, c.2007 – share copy and paste – post freely.
    PSYCHICALLY CHANNELLED MATERIAL – PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG TO WHOMEVER YOU THINK SHOULD READ THIS – THANK YOU. THIS WAS WRITTEN A FEW DAYS AFTER THE KANSAS TORNADO IN 2007.
    Tornadoes are going to be within our control for the most part. THE FANS THAT ARE CREATED ARE GOING TO BE VERY EASY TO USE – THEY WILL BE ABOUT TWO OR THREE STORIES HIGH FOR THE MOST PART — THEY ARE GOING TO BE CREATED BECAUSE WE NEED THEM AND THEY ARE NOT JUST NICE TO HAVE — THEY WILL BE VERY EASY TO USE — THEY ARE GOING TO BE OPERATED BY ANYONE AND THAT IS HOW EASY THEY WILL BE TO USE. THE OPERATOR OF THE TORNADO STOP MECHANISM IS GOING TO BE IN TRAINING FOR LESS THAN FIVE MINUTES BECAUSE THAT IS HOW EASY IT IS GOING TO BE TO USE — IT IS NOT GOING TO BE THAT DANGEROUS TO GO NEAR THE TORNADO IF YOU HAVE THE TORNADO STOP GOING. YOU WILL NOT BE AFRAID BECAUSE YOU WILL KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE WORKS — THAT IS HOW GOOD THEY ARE TO HAVE — YOUR ABILITY TO CREATE THESE IS GOING TO ASSIST HUMANITY IN DOING SOMETHING NECESSARY. THESE ARE NOT JUST NICE TO HAVE AS SAID — THE TORNADOS CAN STRIKE ANYWHERE ON EARTH NOT JUST IN THE SOUTH — THAT IS WHY THEY ARE NECESSARY — BECAUSE WE LOVE PEOPLE TOO — THAT IS WHY THEY ARE GOING TO BE BUILT. THEY WILL HAVE ONE OPERATOR ONLY — THAT IS BECAUSE THAT IS ALL THAT IS NEEDED — THEY WILL BE AIMED AT THE TIP AND LOWEST PART OF THE TORNADO AND PHYSICS WILL EXPLAIN THE REST TO YOU — THE TOP PART IS SELDOMN OVER A MILE WIDE. THEY ARE NOT USUALLY THAT WIDE AT THE TOP. THE BOTTOM WIDTH IS ONLY 10 FEET AT THE BIGGEST OFTEN IT IS 20 FEET.
    WHEN YOU OPERATE THIS MECHANISM YOU WILL BE VERY ADEPT AT LOCATING THE TIP FIRST — THEY ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO BE OPERATED EASILY DO NOT WORRY — THAT IS WHY YOU CAN DO IT EASILY — YOU WILL LOCATE THE TIP BY YOUR SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS — THAT IS HOW YOU WILL OPERATE THE ENTIRE THING SCIENTIFICALLY. THE CONSTRUCTION OF IT WILL BE MOSTLY METAL NOT PLASTIC. IT WILL COST ABOUT $100,000 PER FAN LIKE MECHANISM AND THERE SHOULD BE A MINIMUM OF 5 BETTER TO HAVE 10. THIS IS NOT EXPENSIVE JUST COSTLY IN LIVES IF NOT MADE THERE WILL BE TREMENDOUS TORNADOS EVERYWHERE LATER IN THIS DECADE — IF THEY ARE MADE THERE WONT BE. BECAUSE THEY ARE GOING TO BE NIPPED IN THE BUD SO TO SPEAK. THEY ARE GOING TO BE TAKEN FROM BIRTH OF THE TORNADO — THAT IS FROM THE MINUTE THEY ARE HEARD ABOUT. ONCE YOU HEAR THAT THE TORNADO IS FORMING THEN YOU GO AFTER IT.
    WHEN YOU CHASE AFTER THESE TORNADOS YOU HAVE TO BE MORE CAREFUL THAN YOU WANT TO — THEY ARE DANGEROUS AND YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BE OVERCONFIDENT. THERE SHOULD BE ABOUT 4 PEOPLE TOGETHER DOING THIS WITH EACH OTHER. ALL IN ONE BIG MOBILE TRUCK AND PEOPLE WILL ADMIRE THE TRUCK TOO BY THE WAY BECAUSE THEY WILL KNOW WHAT IT IS DOING AT THAT TIME. THE TRUCK IS INCLUDED IN THE COST OF THE FAN LIKE MECHANISM. $100,000 FOR THE WHOLE THING. PER EACH ONE — THAT IS VERY DOABLE — BE AWARE THAT THERE IS DEVELOPMENT COST INVOLVED AND MATERIALS AND CONSTRUCTION COST AS WELL –INCLUDE PHYSICISTS IN DEVELOPMENT AND INCLUDE
    ENGINEERS AS WELL — BECAUSE THEY ARE EXTREMELY VALUABLE TOO — THE PRIMARY DEVELOPERS ARE GOING TO BE TECHNOLOGISTS — THEY ARE GOING TO BE SCIENTIFIC TOO.
    YOU WILL NOT BE UPSET WHEN YOU SEE THE RESULTS YOU WILL BE ASTOUNDED — WE HAVE BEEN LUCKY THAT IT HAS NOT HIT MAJOR CITIES YET — BUILD THEM AND DETER THEM — THEY ARE SO POWERFUL THEY CAN KNOCK OUT TALL BUILDINGS TOO — YOUR USE OF TECHNOLOGY AND THE UNDERSTANDING OF PHYSICS WILL STOP THE TORNADOS FROM FORMING BIGGER AND BIGGER AND BIGGER — IT WILL COST VERY LITTLE TO STORE BECAUSE THEY CAN BE COLLAPSIBLE AND BECAUSE THE TORNADO WONT KNOW WHERE THEY ARE THEY WILL BE SAFE. THAT IS NOT HUMOR THAT IS THE TRUTH. COVER THEM UP BECAUSE THEY HAVE NEGATIVE ENERGY THAT COULD BE BROUGHT TO THE SITE WHERE THE TORNADO STOP MECHANISM IS STORED — JUST COVER IT IN A BUILDING NOT OUTSIDE — THEY HAVE TO BE PROTECTED ANYWAY — THEY ARE NOT GOING TO BE VERY WATERPROOF BECAUSE YOU WILL HAVE MANY INSTRUMENTS ON THEM — DO NOT BE AFRAID TO BUILD THEM QUICKLY BECAUSE YOU CAN ALWAYS IMPROVE ON THEM ONCE BUILT THEY WILL BE EXTREMELY VALUABLE TO YOU AS CITIZENS AND SCIENTISTS AND TECHNOLOGISTS TOO.
    THE CONSTRUCTIONS OF THESE TORNADO STOP MECHANISMS SHOULD BEGIN IN JUNE 2007 – NO LATER THAN THAT BECAUSE THERE ARE GOING TO BE MORE TORNADOS THAT NEED TO BE NIPPED — THAT IS HOW YOU WILL BE SEEING IT. IF YOU CONSTRUCT THEM QUICKLY THEY CAN BE IN OPERATION IN JUNE 2007 — THAT IS HOW QUICKLY YOU CAN DO IT — DO NOT BE WORRIED ABOUT MAKING MISTAKES BECAUSE ONLY A LITTLE BIT CAN MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN A TORNADO TUNNEL THERE IS SUCTION AND THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE ATTACKING WITH YOUR TORNADO STOP MECHANISM — AND IT WORKS VERY EASILY AND YOU ALREADY KNOW THAT SO GO AHEAD AND MAKE THESE TORNADO STOP MACHINES — THEY ARE MADE OF METAL NOT PLASTIC — THEY ARE ALUMINUM CHLORIDE AND A VERY LIGHTWEIGHT METAL COMPOUND — BE AWARE THAT THEY ARE NOT EVEN GOING TO BE THAT HEAVY TO LIFT BECAUSE THE MOBILE TORNADO MACHINE IS GOING TO BE VALUABLE IN THAT IT LIFTS ITSELF UP. IT BLOWS A VERY FOCUSED WIND ON THE TIP OF THE TORNADO — THAT IS HOW IT HAPPENS AND THIS INFORMATION HAS TO BE SHARED OR IT WONT HAPPEN QUICKLY ENOUGH TO SAVE VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLES LIVES LIKE YOUR FAMILY AND OUR FAMILY TOO –
    DO NOT WORRY IT IS NOT THAT TOUGH. TO MAKE EASILY GET YOUR DEVELOPERS IN FAST AND GET THEM MOVING ON IT QUICKLY!!! IF WE CAN GET STARTED RIGHT AWAY THEY CAN DESIGN SOMETHING QUICK. THAT IS HOW IT HAS TO HAPPEN THIS TIME — THEY ARE VERY CAPABLE PEOPLE AND THEY KNOW EXACTLY HOW TO DO IT — TELL THEM TO GO AHEAD AND DO IT — THE GOVERNMENT IS ABLE TO DO IT ALSO — THEY DO NOT REALIZE HOW EASY IT IS EITHER — NO ONE REALIZES IT BECAUSE IT IS PHYSICS AT WORK AND WE CAN BE SMARTER THAN THE TORNADO — THE COMPANY THE DEVELOPERS WORK FOR CAN BE FOUND BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER CENTER OR SOMEONE ELSE CAN FIND THEM. THEY ARE IN THE USA AND THEY HAVE ALREADY BEEN THINKING ABOUT IT QUITE A BIT — DO NOT WORRY THEY ARE VERY EASY TO WORK WITH — THE PAYING COMPANY IS GOING TO BE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ULTIMATELY HOWEVER AT FIRST IT COULD BE A PROPOSAL OF SORTS TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER CENTER — THEY WILL BE VERY EASY TO WORK WITH DON�T WORRY ABOUT THINGS LIKE MONEY THEY ARE COMFORTABLE BASICALLY THEY WILL ACCEPT WHATEVERY THEY DESERVE – QUITE A BIT – AND YOU WILL LET THEM HAVE IT TOO –DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THEIR DEMEANOR THEY ARE NICE PEOPLE TO WORK FOR AND WITH AND THAT IS WHAT YOU WILL SEE ABOUT THEM. MAKE IT HAPPEN QUICKLY BEFORE THE SUMMER STORMS APPEAR BECAUSE THEY ARE VERY EASY TO IGNORE AND THEY ARE GOING TO BE DANGEROUS IF NOT STOPPED EARLY IN THE TORNADO — THAT IS HOW YOU CAN VIEW IT.
    DO NOT WORRY IT IS EASY I CANNOT EMPHASIZE THAT ENOUGH — GO AHEAD AND BEGIN — TIMETRAVELTOO VORTEX ENERGY IGNITE. THAT MEANS YOU ARE TIME TRAVELING AHEAD INTO THE FUTURE THIS WAS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN FOR 100 YEARS – THAT WAS THE PROBABILITY A YEAR AGO — BUT THE PROBABILITY IS SHIFTING AS PEOPLE PAY ATTENTION AND DO THINGS FOR THE EARTH – THAT IS WHAT TIMETRAVELTOO MEANS — TIME TRAVELING IN THE FUTURE FOR HELPING THE EARTH TOO – TRANSCEND TIME AND SPACE AND MAKE THE TORNADO STOP MACHINES NOW – THANK YOU FOR LISTENING – TIMETRAVELTOO CAN BE FOUND AS A SELLER NAME ON EBAY.COM AT THIS TIME — IF YOU WOULD LIKE FUTURE INFORMATION EMAIL timetraveltoo@comcast.net AND MORE INFORMATION CAN BE CHANNELLED FOR YOUR DEVELOPMENT PLANS IF ASKED YOU WILL HAVE MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU EVEN NEED. THE NATIONAL WEATHER CENTER IS EXTRAORDINARY IN THEIR WORK – THEY ARE SMARTER THAN THE TORNADOS TOO — THEY CANNOT BE STOPPED IF YOU DO NOT MAKE THESE MACHINES. LOOKING AT THEM IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH — THEY HAVE TO BE ATTACKED.
    IT IS EASY TO ATTACK THEM WE JUST HAVE TO BE SMARTER –
    THERE IS GOING TO BE SOME THAT ARE TRIED OUT AND THAT FAIL DO NOT LET THAT STOP YOU FROM YOUR SUCCESSFUL ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN NIPPING THE TORNADOS IN THE BUD — IT IS VERY DOABLE AND YOU ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO IT EASILY — THAT IS WHAT YOU CAN DO JUST TRY THEM OUT AND KEEP TRYING DIFFERENT ANGLES WITH THEM BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT DOES IT. IT IS THE ANGLES THAT WILL WORK AND WE HAVE TO BE QUICK WITH THIS. THIS IS DIVINE GUIDANCE SPEAKING. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO TRY THESE. THIS IS WHY WE ARE ON EARTH. TO CREATE THINGS LIKE THESE. ONE DAY THEY WILL BE VERY TINY MACHINES NOT YET BECAUSE WE HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO USE THEM FIRST —
    THEY ARE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO BE USED UNLESS THERE IS A BIG TORNADO — LETS HOPE THERE IS NOT BUT THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE FOR – TELL THEM THAT — THEN THEY WILL SEE IT IS RIDICULOUS NOT TO DO IT. THE NATIONAL WEATHER CENTER IS GOING TO BE EXTREMELY HELPFUL IN GETTING THESE TO BE CREATED — IF NOT THEM THEN SOME OTHER BIG COMPANY WILL TAKE IT ON BUT NOT SOON ENOUGH — THE PROBABILLITIES ARE SHIFTING FOR THESE COMPANIES TO TAKE THIS PROJECT ON — THAT IS WHY THIS IS CONSIDERED A PSYCHIC READING — FOR THE NATIONAL WEATHER CENTER BUT FOR EVERYONE ALSO —
    THANK YOU — I HOPE YOU WILL SHARE THIS WITH OTHER PEOPLE — THIS IS WHAT IT IS FOR. TO SHARE –
    TIMETRAVELTOO