This week has been another of those strange weeks for news, and at the top of list flooding my inbox was the story of an explosion at CERN's hadron collider. One thing struck me about the story: there was no mention, anywhere, of any explosion in any lamestream corporate controlled media. In today's cynical day and age, this in itself would not, sadly, be enough to argue that the explosion story is a hoax. But this, perhaps, would:
As this article points out, the videos in question circulating with the story appear to be from 2014. And then there's this telltale list of genuine problems with the story:
None of it is true and the events described in the story did not happen. The introduction of the article gets several basic facts wrong:
- There is no "project CERN". CERN stands for "Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire" which translates to "European Council for Nuclear Research". It does operate the largest particle collider in the world, but that is known as the Large Hadron Collider.
- The Large Hadron Collider sits between 50 and 150 metres underground (about 150 to 450 feet), not 600 feet.
- There is no "Dr. Ravi Mutnaj". We found no online references to this name outside copies of the SomeonesBones story. A search on Google Scholar for his name turns up nothing. Any serious scientist working at a prestigious institution like CERN would show up there.
- A real scientist would never write "interdiminsial".
There have been no mentions of any seismic activity in Switzerland on March 6th near the location of CERN (just above Geneva/Genève) according to this map from the Swiss Seismological Service: (Emphasis added)
So there it is: I have to number myself in the "this is a hoax" column.
So why am I bothering to blog about a story that is apparently not true?
To put it simply, when I searched for "CERN explosion", not only did the above article pop up in the results, so did this one from the UK's Guardian:
Notably, there's no dateline here for the article and its thought-provoking picture, but apparently it can be dated to that period after the Large Hadron Collider was powered up for the first time, and then immediately shut down, having suffered an "accident" which, at the time, we were told was due to some sort of tear in the cooling mechanisms for the giant magnets powering the collider. Here's what the article states:
Cern has made available a full technical report on the incident, which was caused by a short circuit that burned a hole in a vessel containing liquid helium. The resulting explosion caused enough damage to put the machine out of action until at least July next year.
For Cern this is clearly a major, not to say expensive, accident. But no one said it was going to be easy getting this machine up and running.
It all makes for an even more tense endgame in the hunt for the Higgs boson. Cern's Large Hadron Collider is often trumpeted as the machine that will finally discover the elusive beast, but on the other side of the Atlantic, the scientists at Fermilab's Tevatron are working like mad to find it first. I wonder what the bookies' odds are?
The context here suggests - since it mentions the search for the Higgs which CERN subsequently claims to have discovered - that time period after the initial turn on, and indeed, the article mentions its "tear in the cooling mechanism" for the magnets, which, according to CERN's story, was due to a short circuit. The caption under the photo again substantiates this article having been written years prior to this most recent hoaxed explosion story, in September of 2008.
It's the photograph itself, plus CERN's explanation for it, that again provoke some high octane speculations on my part. The damage shown is explained by this statement: "The picture appears to show what happens when two neighbouring magnets crash into each other." Indeed, a short circuit might have induced such a magnetic "collision", and in the case of the collider, as most people are aware, these are enormously powerful magnets, and the displacement and dislocation could indeed result from that. Where I've always been somewhat skeptical is the "short circuit" explanation itself. At the time, when this story was first reported, and before any pictures or real explanation had been released, I speculated on the Byte Show with the late George Ann Hughes, that possibly some unexpected and anomalous torsion effect had caused the shutdown, especially given the massive counter-rotation of the magnetic fields of the collider which were in such close proximity to each other. I even entertained the idea that perhaps some sort of precessional wobble had been induced in the magnetic fields themselves and/or the rotating proton streams, which the anchoring mechanisms of the collider were for whatever reason not able to damp. The several months' of repair work at the time also seemed suspicious to me, for a comparatively "simple" repair. I thought, and still think, that this lengthy lag may have been due to my hypothesized "anomaly" to give scientists and technicians the time they needed to engineer a way around its potential recurrence. Seeing this picture, there's nothing in it that compels me to alter my high octane speculations of some years ago, save perhaps to modify the scale on which I was thinking, for clearly this picture reveals something far smaller than what I had been imagining, based on reports at that time.
In the meantime, as for this most recent explosion story, I'm still in the hoax column. I find it too difficult to believe that had such an incident occurred, CERN would not have said anything about it.