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Date: Mon, 25 Oct 1997
From: Patricia Thomas <>
Subject: Tunguska Explosion

After reading some of the articles concerning this episode, I was wondering if anyone considered the explosion itself might have been that of built-up methane gas in the region that was triggered by the fireball witnessed. Has this view been approached? If so, could you direct me to articles concerning this? If not, is this a view that might have some bearing in this event? Thank you for time in reviewing my questions.

Pat Thomas

Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 10:57:38 +0100
From: Giuseppe Longo <>
Organization: INFN
Subject: [Fwd: A letter from Andrei Ol'khovatov]

Dear Patricia,
May be that Andrei (see the letter enclosed) can answer your questions. Bye

Giuseppe Longo E-mail:
Department of Physics, Fax: (**39-51)244101
University of Bologna, Phone: (**39-51)351087
Via Irnerio 46, Web page:
I-40126 Bologna, Italy To:

From: "Andrei Yu. Olkhovatov" <>
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 97 07:39:22 +0300
Subject: A letter from Andrei Ol'khovatov

Dear Prof. G. Longo,

Thank you very much for fast reply and attention. I was very glad to read your remarks. Let me comment some of them.

A few years ago I even don't know what does word 'tectonic' mean. Now it seems to me I understand a little what does it mean, but I'm not specialist in 'tectonics' anyway. It's important that there are practically no specialists on 'explosive fireballs' generated by tectonic processes. Probably the best are researchers of ball-lightning. I'm in close contact with them. But they can't explain a physics of ball-lightning!

I collect events of 'fireballs' in connection with earthquakes and some of them are like mini-Tunguska. Unfortunately modern seismologists practically don't pay attention to them (nowadays they are interested in a propagation of seismic waves at first). So I must at first tell him about such events! But when they are aware of them, as a rule, they become interested with the tectonic interpretation of the Tunguska and they think that it doesn't contradict our knowledge of what happens in connection with earthquakes. Anyway, now the majority of the top of Russian seismologists are interested in the 'tectonic Tunguska' and even ask me to give them copies of my articles on it!

59 samples is enough large number to reveal statistics close to Gaussian. But your statictics is not Gaussian, so some 'distorting' factor is present. 'Tectonic Tunguska' explains it very easy. It's an increase of outgassing of the Earth, which is well-known before earthquakes. And how 'meteoritic Tunguska' could explain it?

I told Yu. M. Yemel'yanov (he discovered an increase of the Tunguska epicentre tree growth rate) about 'lignification's problem'. He found it very unusual. On the other side significant influence of tectonic processes (before the earthquakes) on vegetation is known. How 'the meteoritic Tunguska' could explain it?

Please, inform me about the delivery of my air-mail. I would be very glad to discuss the Tunguska with you.

Best wishes, Andrei