By Thomas Garcia, PNT Staff Reporter
An Eastern New Mexico University’s professor doesn’t believe a mysterious rock discussed recently on a nationally syndicated radio program that features programming related to UFOs and conspiracy theories is extraterrestial.
ENMU professor of geology James Constantopoulos examined what is known as the Roswell Rock Circle earlier this month at the request of rock owner Robert L. Ridge of Roswell.
Flat and about the size of an egg, the rock was discovered by Ridge in 2004 near Roswell during a deer hunting trip. It is an iron-rich sandstone, according to Constantopoulos.
The face of the rock features raised crescent and circular patterns that are similar to those that were found in 1994 at a crop circle in England.
Some UFOlogists (persons who study and catalog UFOs) think that the stone has magnetic properties and is an extraterrestrial artifact.
Constantopoulos’ findings were reported in the Internet publication Earthfiles.
“The rock itself is not unusual,” Constantopoulos told the PNT on Tuesday. “It is a rock that can be commonly found in that area. The design on the rock is what makes it unique.”
There are no tool markings on the design and it does not appear that a laser was used, Constantopoulos said.
“This could be the work of a skilled craftsman,” Constantopoulos said. “With the right tools and amount of time someone could have made the markings on the rock. But after all that work why would you leave it in the hills?”
The rock was examined by a Portales geologist in 2005, but all data from those tests were lost in a computer hard drive crash at the university.
The age of the rock could not be determined because ENMU does not house the facilities for that procedure. Further tests to determine the rock’s makeup and origins were not allowed by Ridge, Constantopoulos said.
“I would have to take a sample from the rock and examine it,” Constantopoulos said. “Ridge was against damaging the stone in any way.”
Video can be viewed on Coast to Coast AM Web site showing the rock reacting to a magnet and compass.
“The rock would react to a magnet because of the magnetite and other iron minerals making up the rock,” Constantopoulos said.
Constantopoulos said one of the bigger mysteries is why was this type of rock selected?
“There is a lot of alabaster around that area,” Constantopoulos said. “This is a typical river stone.”