Feb 15th, 2009 was quite a
day - we were loaded up and heading back to Kingman, AZ from the Tucson
Gem and Mineral Show in Tucson, AZ., after a long three week show when
the news came that a large fireball was caught on video accidentially
by a reporter filiming a marathon in Austin, Texas. He didn't realize
what he had at first - it is in the background. The video was taken
around 11 am ; and even with the bright sunlight, you can definately
see the meteorite as it is coming in.
were pretty tired after the excitement of the Gem and Mineral Show, so
we actually didn't pay much attention to it for several days; and then
issues like our stopped up septic tank interfered with our going so it
was about 10 days after the fact before we actually went.
are old enough to realize that all day and night driving is not really
for us, so we went about half way and stayed the night. Makes the trips
MUCH funner - plus Keith and I don't kill each other this way!
made it to Waco, Texas and hunted up a couple friends of ours; Robert
Ward and Shawna Russell. They were nice enough to entroduce us to a
couple landowners who would allow you to hunt for a fee. This is
definately NOT our favoirte way to hunt- there is way too
risk in paying money and hoping to find something, but since we didn't
know where else to start, we did it.
I have different approaches to searching for meteorites - he likes to
wander around where the mood takes him and I like to try and cover
the ground thoroughly - like gridding. The area this
fell was very dry- in fact they had not had a rain since
and you could certainly tell it by how cracked and brown the land was.
I decided to walk up and down these rows in a pasture; Keith deicded to
go across the property and search in another field.
Our cell phones
didn't work (of course) so I turned mine on the radio and
I was just going to jam a while. There was a stray black and white
collie dog that was hanging around - I was told her name was Hopper.
She was awfully thin so I started feeding her some beef jerky that I
had with me - and she became my friend for as long as I was around! The
landowner we were searching on told us that she was a stray
they had actually tried to shoot to get her to go away. I am glad that
they didn't get that accomplished!
Hopper would walk with me up and
down; and only wander off when she could see some cows in the next pen.
Then she would sit down and stare at them while looking back to see
where I was. It was pretty comical!
had never searched for a new fall before; and I really didn't know what
I was looking for. Keith told me just to look for a black
that looks out of place. Just look for a black rock? They are
everywhere in Texas! Finally he said to just put anything that looked
suspicious in my pocket and that way I would be safe!
So off I went;
me and Hopper. We went up and down, up and down......for a while. I
turned on my tunes and basically started dancing down the
rows.....actually it was pretty fun! Then suddenly I see something
was a black rock...with this funny greying look to it too...but it had
this obvoius metal thing on it....was it a meteorite? I looked at it a
while trying to decide if it was or not then finally put it in my
pocket. About an hour and a half later, Eric Wichman and his Girlfriend
Jamie came over to where I was, so I asked him if he had found any yet
and he said he had. So I asked to take a look at his. His was
completely crusted, so it didn't look exactly like mine, so I got mine
out and showed them.
Needless to say , Eric was willing to
take if off
my hands for me if I didn't want it! They were heading over to where
Keith was, so I asked them to let him know that I had found one.
that I had found one, Keith was more determined than ever to find one
as well. He came over to where I was searching and started hunting too.
He was using his handheld detector, which everyone was telling him
would not work, but it did. Within an hour, he found his first one! It
weighed 3.3 grams, and was completely fustion crusted.
That is what you call motivation...find a couple
After studying the area we
decided to go further down the line and see what we could find.
|It was a good day!!!!|