The Chintamani of the Roerichs: Tales of an extraterrestrial talisman: Update notes

Note 1  Sections 7 & 15
In 2009 a Russian acquaintance of mine, Tatiana Chernykh, asked questions on my behalf about the sender of the Stone to the Roerichs, during a visit to the International Centre of the Roerichs in Moscow. Subsequently she conveyed from her meeting with the staff something I found significant – she was told the sender was called, in Russian – ‘сим’. At the ICR it was not possible to determine further what kind of name this was, but I suggest it may have represented the Russian initial letters ‘с и м’ – an abbreviation either of a name, or perhaps more satisfactorily, of an organisation or society. If the former, conceivably it refers to Morya, who is mentioned on the inscription of the pine box in which the consignment was sent as the codified ‘MM’. If the latter, as with many abbreviations, the last letter – м – could be the key. Bearing in mind that, prior to the Roerichs receiving it, the Stone is said to have been held for safe keeping by a French secret society, and as the lid of the box was inscribed in French, the letters seem likely to refer to the French name of the society. The last letter may therefore plausibly be connected with a French Masonic organisation, or, since speculation about Martinist links already figures significantly my researches, a French Martinist society. Therefore, if I were to put forward my favoured suggestions for the meaning of the initials, they would be along the lines of ‘Société des Initiés Martinistes’ or ‘Société Internationale des Martinistes’. If this approaches close to a correct solution, it would be entirely consonant with the material about Roerich’s Martinist connections and the suggested sender of the Stone, discussed in Sections 7 and 15 of the main essay.
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Note 2  Section 13
An article published in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science in 2008 provides strong evidence from Chinese academic sources that the longitude figure of 88 E for the location of the Armanty stone given in the 4th and 5th editions of the Catalogue of Meteorites is incorrect. The authors’ subject is the Ulasitai stone, an iron meteorite found in China in 2004. Its fall site is given as 44 57′ 24″ N, 91 24′ 09″ E, and described as being ‘about 130 km southeast of the find site of the Armanty (Xinjiang) meteorite’. This could plausibly place the Armanty site within a degree or so of latitude, and very close to the longitude, of the site suggested by the Mongolian information. Crucially however no actual figures are given for the Armanty co-ordinates – only an outline map is published, where it is clearly indicated on the Chinese side of the Mongolian/Chinese border at a point approximately as described. The location may broadly accord with the Armanty site implied in the Sky and Telescope report published in 1965 following its removal to Urumqi, whose source was undoubtedly Chinese, but not that in the Catalogue. The authors of the 2008 article use the proximity of the Ulasitai stone to that of the Armanty as shown, and the similarity of the scientific analyses of the two stones, to put forward the probable pairing of the finds, a conclusion which would also serve to reinforce the site apparent in the 1965 report. The present lack of firm figures about the Armanty fall site may be intended to sustain the Chinese case for the stone having been taken from a site on their territory, but without them there can be no certainty about the precise relation of the site to the border. So the questions regarding the fall site and therefore the country of origin remain, and should the Mongolian information prove to be correct, the Chinese claim would seem not to be justified, as I suggest in Section 13. The questions also remain about how the figure of 88 E came to be published in the Catalogue of Meteorites, and – since it now appears to have been retracted – whether it played a part in an attempt by the Chinese to establish beyond doubt a false site in support of their claim – but the presumption must be that its source was Chinese, subsequent to the removal of the stone to Urumqi.
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Reference:  Lin Xu, et al: Ulasitai: A new iron meteorite likely paired with Armanty (IIIE); in Meteoritics & Planetary Science 43, no. 8, 2008.

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