[meteorite-list] Texas meteorites
From: Donald Blakeslee <blakesle_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:37:37 2004
Speaking of Texas meteorites, I have been working on information about
some real ones today and have new information I'd like to share before
asking for help.
The Red River meteorite was 'discovered' in 1808 by an Indian trader named
Anthony Glass, as reported in a great book, Dan Flores' 1985 Journal of an
Indian Trader (Texas A & M Press). Glass was led to the meteorite by
Indians he called Panis and Hietans (actually, Wichitas and Comanches).
There is a hint in an older Spanish document that the meteorite was
discovered by a Wichita in 1771 or 1772. The Wichitas, later joined by
Comanches, led Glass from their village on the Red River to the meteorite,
which he describes as about 50 miles beyond the Brazos River. Flores
estimated that the spot was in southwestern Shakelford County.
Glass says the meteorite was barely imbedded in the ground and that two
others were known to the Indians. They lay in unspecified directions 50
and 30 miles from the Red River specimen.
I took some other information available to me and was able to get another,
probably beter, estimate. I have been collecting information on Indian
trails for years, and when I started tracing Glass' route, the first thing
I noticed is that the first leg, from the Red River southwest into Jack
County, coincides with an Indian trail shown on a map drawn by one of the
great explorers of the SW, Col. Marcy. His depiction of that trail peters
out near the center of the county, but he also shows another trail that
runs N-S through the western edge of the county. Assuming that the Indians
led Glass down the first trail to its junction with the second and then
south along it, he would have reached the Brazos River just downstream from
Possum Kingdom Lake (no kidding; great name, eh?).
I then took another tidbit from elsewhere, a book by J. Emmor Harston,
COMMANCHE LAND The Naylor Company, San Antonio (1963). This says that the
original location of the Wichita County meteorite was a cave (obviously it
was a transpot even then) on Santa Ana mountain and that the Comanches had
transported it north to near the Red River around 1801 or so. Guessing
that this might be one of the two other meteorites reported by the Indians,
I measured the distances and found that 50 miles from the Brazos River and
50 miles from Santa Ana gives a location for the Red River meteorite about
12 miles south of where Flores had it, just west of the little town of
Cisco in Eastland County.
I am pondering two things now. The first is the identity of the thrid
meteorite which sould lies about 30 miles from this location. In earlier
posts to this list, one of you mentioned maintaining some meteorite maps,
but I I couldn't relocate the post in the archives. Can anyone help?
Judging from the description, this should be an iron meteorite, which
should narrow the number of candidates to a reasonable number.
My other concern is the size of the Red River meteorite and Glass'
description. The original weight was 1635 pounds, which should have made
a pretty good hole in the ground, yet Glass says it was only slightly
imbedded. If it had lain there long enough for erosion to have uncovered
it, it should be deeply weathered. Comments?
Department of Anthropology
Wichita State University
Received on Fri 22 Dec 2000 03:03:33 PM PST