[meteorite-list] Bring the Paragould Meteorite home

From: John Sinclair <jsinclairjr_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:32:50 2004
Message-ID: <002401c40b78$d29cf7e0$2101a8c0_at_sinclair>


Residents attempting to bring the 'Paragould Meteorite' home

PARAGOULD -- If the efforts of the community are successful, Paragould could
once again be home to the phenomenal 800-pound "Paragould Meteorite."

Larry Hancock, a lifelong resident of Paragould, recently became interested
in bringing the cosmic artifact back to northeast Arkansas.

The meteorite, which crashed a few miles southwest of Finch at 4:08 a.m. on
Feb. 17, 1930, is the third largest meteorite ever discovered.

W.H. Hodges, a farmer, discovered the meteorite in a hole that measured
8-feet deep.

After its discovery, meteorite collector Harvey Nininger purchased the
meteorite before selling it for profit to the Field Museum of Natural
History in Chicago.

Today, the meteorite resides at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville,
where it is being kept on loan from the Field Museum.

Hancock stated he has contacted both UA faculty member Dr. Derek Sears --who
has been instrumental in the displaying of the meteorite at UA-- and
Meenakshi Wadhwa, Field Museum meteorite curator, about the possibility of
bringing the Paragould Meteorite home for public display.

However, the current dilemma resides in the fact that, according to Hancock,
UA officials have not been in violation of the loan requirements, and
therefore, will remain in possession of the meteorite until the Field Museum
determines them to be unsuitable keepers of the relic.

According to Hancock, Sears has not been willing to relinquish possession of
the meteorite, which is being used for scientific purposes at UA.

"If God would've wanted that thing in Fayetteville, he would've landed it
there," Hancock said.

With support from the public, Hancock believes that the Paragould Meteorite
could be brought back to northeast Arkansas.

Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill stated that he supports the effort, but also
added that Paragould needs a place to house the meteorite during its
displaying in northeast Arkansas.

"The problem is, we don't have anywhere to put it," Gaskill said.

Main Street Paragould Director Sherry Cunningham expressed much of the same

"I believe that this is where it belongs," Cunningham said. "But my question
is 'where do you store it?'"

According to Cunningham, the Greene County Historical Preservation Society
is currently looking into the possibility of finding a home for a Greene
County/Paragould Museum.

Cunningham also added that such an attraction would be a great opportunity
for Greene County and the state, as the Crowley's Ridge Scenic Byway --
Arkansas' only national scenic byway -- passes through downtown Paragould.

"I think we're well overdue for a museum here," Cunningham said. "I think we
need something to show off here in Greene County."

Bettye Busby, president of the Greene County Historical Preservation
Society, stated that the organization would be extremely interested in
displaying the meteorite once the goal of finding a home for a county museum
has been accomplished.

"I think this is where it should be," Busby said, "especially if we do
succeed in getting a museum."

"If it turns out that there are more people interested in it, I would like
to see it come to Paragould," Hancock said. "There's only one 'Paragould
Meteorite,' really. This is a historical thing for us, and it would be a
historical justice for the meteorite to return to Paragould."

At 7 p.m. on April 8, a public meeting will be hosted by the Greene County
Historical Preservation Society at First Presbyterian Church.

According to Busby, this initial meeting will determine the amount of
interest the community has in housing a museum.

"We'd have to have the support of the community to begin, or there'd be no
reason to pursue it," Busby said.

"It's going to be an uphill battle," Hancock said. "Without the support of
the people, it probably will not happen."

According to Hancock, after the meeting on April 8, the next step will
entail gathering support and sending a packet to the Field Museum to request
that the meteorite be sent to Paragould.

"The key," Hancock said, "is getting support."
Received on Tue 16 Mar 2004 12:05:00 PM PST

Help support this free mailing list:

Yahoo MyWeb