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August 7, 1969

Dear Harry:

Yesterday evening I called in connection with the long telephone conversation we had the day before, in the morning about 10 a.m., when I called you at your office. At that time I told you of my article in NY Times of July 21st and asked very insistently that thermoluminescence tests should be performed. You told me that age testing of the lunar rocks is scheduled; I asked by what methods, you answered, for instance, by the potassium-argon method; to this I replied that I definitely expect neon and argon as inclusions in lunar rocks but their origin is from near contacts with Mars in the eighth and beginning of the seventh century before the present era and I was concerned that the presence of argon next to neon in the rocks of the moon would cause wrong deductions as to the time when the lunar surface was molten for the last time. You told me that when a rock is molten an argon inclusion would escape; I asked in reply whether the softening of the rock would suffice for the escape of neon and argon or a higher heat would be required: you have considered the problem and it was left undecided in your mind whether the duration and the temperature of the process as I visualize in these catastrophic events would have sufficed for the inert gases to completely escape.

I also reminded you at that conversation in the morning of Aug. 5, that in Worlds in Collision (1950) I claimed that neon and argon are chief constituents of the Martian atmosphere; that already in 1945 or 1946 I registered a lecture copyright on “Neon and Argon in Mars’ Atmosphere” : that I corresponded on the subject with H. Shapley and Walter S. Adams in 1946: in my book I also explained that Venus, earth, moon, and Mars had been at various limes in near contacts; that Mars and the moon disturbed each other greatly, exchanged electrical discharges, and that Mars left some of its gases on earth and the moon.

When yesterday afternoon I read Wilford’s dispatch from Houston in the morning NY Times concerning the find of neon and argon by Dr. Oliver A. Schaeffer who heated lunar dirt to 3,000 F and by this released radioactive neon and argon (besides helium, krypton, and xenon) I called you and reached you by phone at supper time at your home.

About twelve days ago I wrote to Prof. A.W. Burgstahler, Chemistry Department, University of Kansas, the same concern of what will be the verdict concerning the time the lunar rock was lastly molten because of the inclusions of argon and neon in lunar rocks, the gases being of Martian origin. Dr. Schaeffer ascribes them to solar wind but admits that their participation in solar wind was not expected.

Next, I expect that neon and argon will be found as main ingredients of Martian atmosphere as I claimed for almost quarter of a century.

Cordially,
(signed) Immanuel



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