[meteorite-list] Local Resident Recalls Uncovering Piece of Paragould Meteorite

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:32:52 2004
Message-ID: <200403191631.IAA08757_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Local resident recalls uncovering piece of 'Paragould Meteorite'
Paragould Daily Press
March 19, 2004

PARAGOULD -- At 94 years old, George Hyde well recalls the day he and local
resident Raymond Parkinson found an 80-pound chunk of the "Paragould

According to Hyde, the meteorite, which crashed at approximately 4:08 a.m.
on Feb. 17, 1930, was something of a mystery until he and Parkinson
discovered it later in the day.

"You never heard any louder thunder or never saw any brighter lightning that
than," Hyde said. "It really made a terrible racket."

Hyde, who was 21 at the time, stated that no one knew what had happened when
it crashed.

"We didn't know what it was," Hyde said. "We didn't know nothing about

The next day, Hyde and Parkinson went out to find the cause of the

What they found, was an 80-pound portion of a meteorite that landed just
southwest of Finch in the Poland Township.

"It lodged into the ground pretty quick," Hyde said. "It threw dirt a long

According to Hyde, the meteorite created a three-and-a-half foot crater in
the ground of Parkinson's pasture.

After finding the meteorite, Hyde, Parkinson and another local farmer named
Tom Gill, spent approximately half the day digging it out of the ground with

After digging it out, Hyde said that Parkinson allowed local teacher L.V.
Rhine to take a look at the meteorite.

He added, however, that Rhine kept the meteorite, which eventually led to a
fist fight between Parkinson and Rhine.

"It sure was something to talk about," Hyde said of the meteorite. "It was
the talk for at least a year or so."

After the initial discovery, a larger 800-pound portion of the meteorite was
found on the property of Joe Fletcher.

Although Hyde said he never saw the larger meteorite, he was acquainted with
individuals involved with its excavation and eventual sale to meteorite
collector Harvey Nininger for $3,600.

Nininger then sold the relic -- which is the third largest meteorite ever
discovered -- to the Field Museum of Natural Science located in Chicago.

Currently, an effort to bring the meteorite back to Paragould is being led
by Larry Hancock. According to Bettye Busby, president of the Greene County
Historical and Genealogical Society, the organization is looking into the
possibility of finding a museum to house such relics.

However, according to Hancock, after a suitable home for the displaying of
the meteorite is found, the Field Museum -- which is currently lending the
meteorite to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville -- must be
petitioned. For this reason, local support is essential.

Busby stated that the historical society will hold a meeting at 7 p.m. on
April 8 at the Greene County Community Center.

The meeting was originally scheduled to be held at First Presbyterian
Church, but has been moved due to overwhelming interest in the subject.

All individuals who would like to see Greene County have its own museum are
encouraged to attend the event and voice their opinions.
Received on Fri 19 Mar 2004 11:30:58 AM PST

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