[meteorite-list] NWA meteorites VS falls, etc.
From: Charlie <moonrock25_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:42:02 2004
This sure has been an interesting thread, as I am still in flux as to
where I or the community in general should stand on NWA meteorites.
It's important to know what one is doing in this hobby, when to buy,
when to wait, how to gage and understand the changes in the hobby, the
relative value of old finds and falls with history vs. new sources.
I know I love history, and neat obscure narratives associated with a
specimen that allows me to recreate the moment of fall or circumstances
of find in my minds eye. This is not meant at all to argue against any
merits of NWA material. But I thought you might enjoy 3 neat accounts
recorded in Richard Pearl's excellent 1975 publication, Fallen from
Heaven: Meteorites and Man.
Refusing "with scorn money offers that must have been tempting to a
person of limited income, preferring the advancement of science to
dollars and cents," James W. Hooper, of Franklin County, Alabama is the
kind of man who has helped make meteoritics possible. At 3:00 p.m.,
December 5, 1868, he was sitting by a fire with his family when he heard
the first noise. His sister called, "Run quickly, the house is on
fire-don't you hear it?" The specimen was a small stone, still warm
when found nearly buried in the ground 70-80 yards away. It is
classified as howardite.
Jenny's Creek, West Virginia
Owing to their shining luster, many iron meteorites have been thought to
be lumps of native silver. Some have been hidden on this account.
Others have been held off the market, awaiting a higher price than
anyone was ever willing to pay.
This meteorite went even further. Found by Mrs. Maston Christian early
in 1883 in a creek bed on Wayne County, West Virginia , it came partly
into the hands of "a shrewd speculator" who, burying it in different
places, dug it up each time-in 1883 and 1885-and then sold the property
as silver bearing.
Monroe, North Carolina
Hiram Post "sighted the sound" of this stony meteorite at 3:00 p.m.,
October 31, 1849, when it dropped onto his plantation in Cabarrus
County, North Carolina. The thing was located the next morning, buried
10 inches deep. The local people were "astonished, and not a few were
exceedingly terrified." A militia colonel sagely remarked that "there
must be war in Heaven, for they are throwing rocks." Mr. Post posted an
invitation to see "a wonderful rock that had fallen from the skies," but
next to the specimen was another sign reading "Gentlemen, sirs-please
not to break this rock, which fell from the skies and weighs 19.5
Don't accounts like these make you wish you had specimens of the above
in your collection?
Maybe some of you do, and if so, I hope the above adds to your
appreciation of your good fortune!
Here in Rhode Island, a blizzard rages outside.
In a few hours, list member Greg Shanos is going to try and fight his
way here to help me photograph meteorites. We'd both rather be in sunny
Received on Sun 21 Jan 2001 08:07:44 AM PST