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TOPIC: My Search for meteorites

My Search for meteorites 6 years 6 months ago #11332

I have always been a hobbyist treasure hunter. I was raised on a Canadian farm and in the 1950's we had a large garden area that had been homesteaded around 1876. The buildings were all gone except for lots of square nails and bits of pottery in the dirt .

Years ago somebody must have buried a jar or can of coins because they were always turning up in the garden. My mom found silver dimes and nickles from the 1800's and my first find was a large Canadian 1903 penny.

In 1984 I had completed a paintjob on a car in my autobody shop late one night and for some reason decided to take a drive to our family farm ..... it was middle of winter .... all the farm roads were blocked as i expected so I just pulled onto a straight north-south country road to turn around.

Straight south of me , at an altitude of 30,000 to 50,000 feet was a huge meteorite coming down. It was very slow and vertical and lit up the whole countryside brighter than daylight.

It was a bright luminescent green ..... the teardrop shaped fireball was so large that if I had held three outstretched hands in front of my face it would not have covered it. The atmosphere had slowed it down significantly and once it was around 35,000 feet the burning stopped and I got a glimpse of a bit of the rock continuing down with a few remaining sparks shedding off it.

This was in the days before I was a helicopter pilot ..... and all I could think about was finding someone with a small Cessna to go look for it ..... My thinking was there should be a steaming hole in the snow where it landed.

I went to the local library the next day to read up on meteorites and all they had was one obscure book written for 10 year olds and was no help to me at the time.

Years later (and still today) I have searched high and low for it without luck .... it would probably be worth in excess of $100k because it was fresh and a witnessed fall.

But I have some interesting stories to share about my meteorite hunting ..... my obsessive compulsive disorder went into full gear and i bought every meteorite book available .... even the rare and out of print editions that cost more than the meteorites themselves. ..... bought a top of the line Whites XLT detector as well as visually searched every square foot of a 10 mile by 20 mile area ..... and even got paid wages while working for a farmer while doing it.

More later .... but like Don Jose would say ...... I need to go make a coffee first :)
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Re: My Search for meteorites 6 years 6 months ago #11337

  • JudyH
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Sounds interesting, Birdman. I would join you for the coffee but am heading out on an assignment and will be out of contact for a few weeks. Hopefully I will be able to check in occasionally ... and will be watching this discussion progress. Never hunted for meteorites but I have one that was given to me. Truly strange vibes from it, will be interesting to hear more on the subject. ;)
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Re: My Search for meteorites 6 years 6 months ago #11352

I happen to have this picture on my computer already so I will jump ahead in my story to around 2003 .

meteorites are the rarest thing on earth and pallisites are one of the rarest of the meteorites. They have a nickel iron metal matrix embedded with crystals such as olivine and they look like jewelry.

Even the smallest samples can sell for $3000 an ounce and would be out of my price range until I was presented with an unusual opportunity.

In 1810 the Brahin meteorite fell in Byelorussia ...... it broke up in the atmosphere and scattered a lot of fragments over several miles. The scientists and researchers had picked the area clean ..... or so they thought.

After the iron curtain fell an enterprising young Russian did a search and found another fragment the size of a volleyball.

He had no money so on blind trust 5 North Americans like me sent him payment .... the rock was sent to Montana for initial cutting , then to Arizona for polishing , and then my portion arrived in my mail box 8 months after we started the whole deal.

I love the 2" cube that was my portion but the most rewarding thing was that 7 strangers around the world had such trust that everything would work out.

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Re: My Search for meteorites 6 years 6 months ago #11354

  • gunrunner61
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That's a very cool and insightful story, And your right that Seven people from around the world could come together is absolutely amazing...................HH
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Re: My Search for meteorites 6 years 6 months ago #11363

I am not in the mood to recall any meteorite stories tonight.
I feel much more like preaching so pay attention please (smile)

I hope to prompt the coin & jewelry & gold & silver treasure hunters to keep an eye out for meteorites wherever you are ..... on land ..... or even in the ocean

The general statistics are there should be one meteorite every square mile on earth that is reasonably large enough to spot and identify. Of course that includes the oceans and forests and many impossible places to search .... but the numbers are there .....

Many meteorites sell for more $$ than gold per ounce so might as well keep an eye out for them while looking for treasures.

The reality is that there are probably no meteorites right where you are now .... but thousands in Russia and Canada where recent meteorites have disintegrate .... and that is how they come up with the average of one every square mile.

It is my opinion that the early settlers and farmers who turned the prairie sod in the pioneer days would have uncovered the occasional "stone" in the fields and brought them home as a novelty item etc ....

Those potential meteorites will still be buried under the sod in the abandoned homesteads so if you are ever hunting for coins you have a chance of finding one.

One problem is they are often nickel-iron and set off a detector just fine .... but so do the hundreds of nails and horseshoes and scrap around old yards.

use the internet to familiarize yourself with pictures of meteorites and train your eye to be on the lookout for them

And if you consider they are worth as much as a bar of gold it helps keep the adrenalin going.

Hope you find one.

I bought this one at auction and it is a paperweight on my desk. About 5 inches high and nicely sculptured , it is solid metal (nickel iron) ..... it fell around 1572 in Chile South America , there were many fragments , not exceptionally rare or valuable , that's why I could afford it at the time.

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Last Edit: 6 years 6 months ago by Arnold Martin.
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Re: My Search for meteorites 6 years 5 months ago #11926

  • Kanacki
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Hello Arnold Martain

Cool story I have never found a meteorite but If was to look I would try areas with large salt pans. There is Metorite collectors in South Australia that collect metor fragment on the lake ayre when shes dry.

However thats a very nice meteorite momento you have,

By the way do fly Robinson 22 helicopters?

Kanacki
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