[meteorite-list] Re: Meteorite Pronunciation
From: Sterling K. Webb <kelly_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:50:25 2004
Thanks for the correction, Mark.
I've been researching Benld on the ground, so to speak. I've been to
the newspaper office (same newspaper forever) and seen the original
article reporting the fall, a surprizingly intelligent article, but short.
The paper was a weekly published on Friday and the fall was discovered on
Thursday morning. Nevertheless, they got the story into a box on the front
page. I searched subsequent issues for followup stories (like "Museum Buys
Meteorite" or whatever) but have not found any.
Interestingly enough, local memory of the fall is very weak. The
managing editor of the newspaper donated pamphlets and publications about
the fall to the local library for a display some years ago, but all that
material has disappeared, or to be more precise, cannot presently be
located, to the annoyance of the editor (and me). Before I quit running
over there for the winter, I had yet to locate the precise location of the
garage. I need to do followup with the 70+ age-group.
My theory of the fall is that the combination of near-verticality of
path and high penetration ability indicates a high-altitude stagnation
point. That is, in order to fall vertically the stone must have had its
horizontal velocity reduced to a very slow speed. But to penetrate roof
and car, etc. it must have been falling with a 100-300 mph speed. The
object must have re-acquired some velocity in the fall. A nearly vertical
fall as the original trajectory seems unlikely for several reasons.
Since such a high percentage of falls are multiples, I wondered what
would have happened to other stones had there been any. The area where the
house and garage stood was an "addition" to the town, what we would call a
subdivision today. It was created by filling a brick pit with clay and
trash from a demolished brickworks in the 1920's. Had there been other
stones falling with the same velocity as the car-penetrator, they would
have just punctured grassy areas, burying themselves in the clay fill,
leaving hardly a mark and would likely never have been noticed in the fuss
over the car. The velocity is too low to produce even micro-craters and
the soil fill too soft to resist penetration.
My theory of a possibility, anyway...
Sterling K. Webb
> > Hi, List,
> > The almost entire main mass of the "car-killer" (sorry, there was
> > no dog in the car) lives in the Field Museum in Chicago. The
> > whereabouts of the car is unknown.
> > Sterling K. Webb
> Sterling, and group:
> Parts of the car (the perforated roof, the dented muffler and the seat
> cushion where the meteorite was ultimately found) are still on display
> at the Field Museum -- along with the holed portion of the garage
> roof. In another interesting display, there are pieces of damaged
> roofing and a twisted rain gutter from a house impact, although the
> locality of that fall escapes me for the moment.
> Mark Langenfeld
> Madison, WI
Received on Mon 08 Apr 2002 09:07:44 PM PDT