LAURA KNIGHT-JADCZYK AND JOE QUINN
Since the 9/11 attacks, no book has provided a satisfactory answer as to WHY the attacks occurred and who was ultimately responsible for carrying them out - until now.
What I have prepared for today is The List, by no means exhaustive, of all the incidents I have been able to uncover of meteorite, asteroid, or cometary impacts that have caused death and destruction, property damage, or were near misses. Major parts of The List are extracted from the work of John S. Lewis, Professor of Planetary Sciences at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, Codirector of the NASA/University of Arizona Space Engineering Research Center, and Commissioner of the Arizona State Space Commission, in specific, his books entitled Rain of Iron and Ice and Comet and Asteroid Impact Hazards on a Populated Earth. In this latter volume, he writes:The most intensively studied impact phenomenon, impact cratering, is of limited importance, due to the rarity and large mean time between events for crater-forming impacts. Almost all events causing property damage and lethality are due to bodies less than 100 meters in diameter, almost all of which, except for the very largest and strongest, are fated to explode in the atmosphere. ... [W]e are forced to conclude that the complex behavior of smaller bodies is closely relevant to the threat actually experienced by contemporary civilization.Based on the data he collected, Lewis noted that:[O]n the century time scale, firestorm ignition and direct blast damage by rare, strong, deeply penetrating bodies are the most common threats to human life, with average fatality rates of about 250 people per year. ... On a 1000-year scale, the most severe single event, which is usually a 10 to 100 megaton Tunguska-type airburst, accounts for most of the total fatalities. On longer time scales, regional impact-triggered tsunamis become the most dangerous events. ...The exact impactor threshold size for global effects remains poorly determined. [...]
Perhaps most interesting is the implication that the large majority of lethal events (not of the number of fatalities) are caused by bodies that are so small, so faint, and so numerous that the cost of the effort required to find, track, predict, and intercept them exceeds the cost of the damage incurred by ignoring them. [Lewis, 1999]