[meteorite-list] j. kriegh and b. haag in the news
From: Jim <Jim_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:48:14 2004
It seems to me like a rehash of old stories. I suspect the moon rock they
are referring to is Calcalong Creek. They just got the circumstances
wrong..........typical of the news media.
421 Fourth Street
Glen Dale, WV 26038
Catch a Falling Star Meteorites
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, October 28, 2001 3:54 PM
Subject: [meteorite-list] j. kriegh and b. haag in the news
> is this a new moon rock?
> October 28, 2001
> Meteorite Hunters Scour Southwest
> By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
> Filed at 12:04 p.m. ET
> PHOENIX (AP) -- The sunshine sparkling on his meteorite-encrusted wedding
ring and Van Halen blaring from his car stereo, Bob Haag rolled into
Portales, N.M., looking for space rocks.
> He had heard the news less than 24 hours earlier: Rare iron-rich stone
meteorites had landed near the eastern New Mexico town. Armed with a pocket
full of $100 bills and banking on another big score, the self-styled
``long-haired hippy kid from Tucson'' hit the road.
> He was in town before the stones had time to cool.
> This is the world of the meteorite hunter, where a handful of pros like
Haag and legions of metal detector-toting amateurs comb the Southwest in
search of celestial tidbits more valuable than gold.
> ``Without a doubt, I have the best job in the galaxy,'' Haag said. ``But
you don't have to be a rocket scientist. You do a little research, find
where meteorites have fallen, and just go there and look. That's it. There's
> In 25 years of hunting meteorites, Haag has followed ``million-dollar
falls,'' multiple meteorite drops that happen about every 1,000 days, to
Egypt, Russia, Japan and more than 50 other countries.
> He has built an extensive collection, which he said has been appraised at
> ``These are pieces of stars that have never been seen on Earth before,''
Haag said. ``It's so 2001 Space Odyssey, so Buck Rogers spaceman, so Marvin
the Martian. These are today's new treasures, and we don't even have to
leave the planet to get them.''
> During his search in Portales in 1998, Haag started working the residents
immediately, handing out pictures of the meteorite and posting ``Wanted!''
posters at the town's barber shop and Wal-Mart promising a reward.
> Soon, a crew of housewives, teen-agers and retired men were scouring the
desert scrub behind their homes.
> Haag shelled out about $15,000 for three of the 60 meteorites that were
eventually recovered -- including $5,000 to a child on a bike. He guesses
that the three rocks are worth at least twice what he paid, though he hasn't
> Most hunters agree there's more to the quest than money.
> ``The excitement with meteorites is that these samples are parts of
planets that once existed somewhere in outer space,'' said David Kring,
professor of planetary studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
``Meteorites are a piece of a very old puzzle -- 4 1/2 billion years of the
solar system's history that can be partially unraveled by studying the
meteorite you hold in your hand.''
> The dry, wide-open spaces of the Sonora, Chihuahua and Mohave deserts of
the southwestern United States make for ideal meteorite hunting terrain.
Would-be collectors just have to be able to recognize them.
> About 800 baseball-sized or larger meteorites have fallen in Arizona alone
in the past 300 years, but only about 40 have been recovered, Kring said.
> He said he finds about one or two meteorites among the 600 rock samples
brought to his office by amateur rock hunters each year.
> Jim Kriegh, a retired University of Arizona civil engineering professor,
wasn't even looking for meteorites when he made his big find.
> While hunting for gold in remote northwestern Arizona in 1995, Kriegh
stumbled across a strewn field, the scattered fragments of a huge rock that
dropped out of its orbit between Jupiter and Mars about 15,000 years ago and
exploded over the desert.
> Over two years Kriegh and his partners pulled more than 2,400 meteorite
pieces from what would become the Gold Basin Strewn Field. One of only two
strewn fields in Arizona, it is believed to be the oldest in the world
outside of Antarctica, Kring said.
> To date, more than 5,000 meteorite pieces have been recovered in the area.
> ``It evokes all sorts of mysterious thoughts,'' said Kriegh's hunting
partner, Twink Monrad. ``There were wooly mammoths and prehistoric lions and
tigers and small horses in the area, and it just makes you wonder what they
saw when this space rock exploded. It's amazing.''
> Monrad was a homemaker before Kriegh invited her to explore the strewn
field. Now, she makes the seven-hour trip from her home near Tucson to Gold
Basin a couple of times a month.
> In 1999, she discovered a separate meteorite lying in the strewn field,
called the Golden Rule Meteorite after a nearby mountain peak. She
attributes her success to persistence.
> ``I firmly believe that if a person were to go over any square mile, time
after time, anywhere in the world, they'd also eventually find meteorites,''
> This strategy, employed by Monrad, Kriegh and others who trek to Gold
Basin, is the same method favored by professionals like Haag.
> Haag said he makes his money by simply being able to recognize the rocks
better than his competitors. He plucked his most valuable find, a rare moon
rock, from a pile of low-priced meteorites a collector was displaying at a
> But while he often sells the gemlike meteorites he finds for hundreds of
dollars per gram, some are off-limits.
> A few years ago, Haag spent two months in a desert on the Libyan-Egyptian
border hunting for a rare Howardite stone meteorite. One night, he said, he
dreamed he saw the meteorite streaking through the sky and then bursting
into five fiery pieces. Two days later he found five Howardite pieces lying
neatly in the sand.
> ``This wasn't something to be bought or sold,'' he said. ``This was
something sent from heaven just for me.''
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Received on Sun 28 Oct 2001 04:25:22 PM PST