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Originally posted by green dog
I believe that there's a simple and highly probably explanation: the meteorite impact released hydrogen sulphide from an anaerobic layer deep under the soil.
Ok, that is believable, however the crater is 6ft deep, and I am fairly certain that the 'deep' you are referring to would be located much further below the surface than that. After all, you said an anaerobic layer, which would have either somehow been trapped just below the surface under a non permeable layer of strata that was punctured (which from the picture it appeared to be top soil, not a solid mineral or material capable of maintaining a non oxygenated environment), or would have been more likely hundreds of feet deep in order to allow for that to occur. Now, in addressing the water found in the crater, it is entirely possible for that meteor to have punctured a sub-surface aquifer that would have due to the heat from entry and impact created a large amount of steam and boiling, as being doused would certainly not quench the heat instantly (or possibly for a few hours). In that case, any water soluble contaminates present in the aquifer would have been fairly easy to inhale through the steam released by the impact and heat dispersal (but aquifers are typically fairly clean environments, unless there is something buried or dumped deep or close enough to seep into it, and a possible installation nearby could indeed account for contamination if it is indeed present). One other thing, by no means do I actually believe that an Andromeda strain or zombie plague will result from this meteorite, as those were ideas previously mentioned to my original post, as I say once again I believe both are rather quite silly. Yet, until it is proven by a consensus of non biased experts who fully disclose their findings that the distress these people suffered resulted from soil or water contamination existing prior to impact (or prove beyond a doubt a 'normal' impact related chemical reaction occurred), I will continue to hold an open mind that this meteorite COULD possibly contain some toxic substance yet to be fully understood.
Originally posted by vincebaby
Either radioactive or biological substances were in the meteorite.
The Andromeda Strain
A U.S. Army satellite falls to earth near Piedmont, New Mexico. The recovery team experiences difficulties as it becomes clear that the satellite has performed its intended function all too well, and has brought back something from space.
A team of five scientists are summoned and gathered together in the top secret Wildfire facility. Fighting against time, they try to find an antidote to Andromeda, the ultimate biological weapon.
The farmers of the place fear the appearance of some disease, since chips of lead and silver were liberated in the shock of the meteor with the soil