I think like many things there are no difinitive answers.
An extended well funded expedition might get more data for evaluation.
An air burst often leaves the objects directly below it upright.
The air is pushed straight down around them.
Equal forces on all sides.
Objects away from the center have the air pushed at them from the side, knocking them down away from the blast center.
The tree pattern definatly points at an air blast.
That does not answer what it was.
Whatever works, use it.
A good idea stands on its own value independent of authorship.
If it stands or falls on the credibility of the author, maybe it isn't such a good idea.