[meteorite-list] Possible Meteoritic House Impact From Michigan

From: Matson, Robert <ROBERT.D.MATSON_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:48:07 2004
Message-ID: <AF564D2B9D91D411B9FE00508BF1C8698E5698_at_US-Torrance.mail.saic.com>

Welcome aboard, Mark.

> I have the feeling that perhaps I do not need to look
> far to find one, as suspicions indicate that a rock from
> the heavens could well be lying inside the roof of our
> house as I'm writing this. In the early winter of 1976,
> a strange hole was discovered in the roof of the house,
> about the size of a basketball after snow had started
> to seep in and wet the ceiling. Nobody at the time
> could quite figure out how it was made. A good friend
> of mine fixed it, but evidently didn't pay much attention
> to what was inside it, if anything. Tree limbs, icicles,
> animals and an insecure roof were ruled out as causes.
> Strangely, one of the most likely scenarios that I am
> able to conclude is an impact from a meteorite.

A possibility, certainly. But what's beneath your roof,
an attic? Surely the roof isn't more than an inch or two
thick. If the hole was the size of a basketball, shouldn't
the object be inside the house?

> Is it possible though, that falling ice from a commercial
> airliner or debris from a satellite or the like could
> create such a hole?

Manmade space debris reentries are far less common than bolides,
so you can safely ignore that possibility. Airline ice or a
giant hailstone are more reasonable alternatives -- particularly
in that the hard "evidence" disappears in a few hours.
> Also, what would be a good way to determine whether or
> not some object is lodged or otherwise sitting above
> the ceiling without having to create a hole of my own.

Hard to say without an understanding of the layout of the top
of your house. If indeed there is inaccessible "dead space"
between your interior ceiling and the exterior roof, then
you've got an interesting problem. You could try a metal
detector along your ceiling, but unfortunately the building
materials of your house are likely to contain metal of some
sort. In other words, plenty of false positives.

Know anyone with an endoscope? ;-)

Best of luck,

Received on Mon 01 Oct 2001 12:46:22 AM PDT

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