An article in Qatar’s otherwise respectable daily, Gulf Times, dated 24 March, proclaims:
‘Meteor crater’ found in Dukhan:
A crater, believed to have been created by the impact of a falling meteor, found near Dukhan.
Sheikh Salman bin Jabor al-Thani, head of the astronomical department at Qatar Scientific Club, said yesterday the club believed that the meteor had hit Qatar in the 1940s. The club started a search for evidence three years ago because of stories of a “falling star” told by people of that era. The club took the help of Google Earth in the search. They succeeded in locating five craters, which were just visible on the surface.
There is an accompanying screenshot of a round feature in the desert in Qatar. You can see it for yourself here in Google Maps:
A crater? From the 40s? I highly doubt it. Looks more like an old lake bed, like the ones further north. Were tests conducted on location before going public with this? Or can anyone join in this game in Qatar and get a pre-emptive mention in the Gulf Times? Is this what counts as science over there? The place is crawling with round features. Are they all craters?
PS: Googling “Sheikh Salman bin Jabor al-Thani” tells me he is in charge of determining when religious holidays start in Qatar and also executive manager of the Al Jabor Cement Company. What a polymath!