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 Post subject: First Meteorite
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:06 pm
Posts: 600
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Well, after a lot of searching on my own, I never could find a meteorite. So I went hunting with the expert Robert Verish.

His webpages:
http://bolidechaser.tripod.com/
http://www.california-meteorites.com/
http://meteorite-recovery.tripod.com/indexmrf1.htm

We left Las Vegas at 4:30 in the morning and went up to Austin, NV hung a left and hunted the dry lake by Tungsten Mountain. There I finally found my first meteorite. Can't say it's huge because I don't think it even weighs an ounce. But still it's my first. We planned on camping but it was too windy and gusty. Austin, NV was booked with an old car show. Cold Springs Station wasn't open because of a power failure. Middlegate was full and the one hotel in Gabbs was such a dive we didn't bother asking. So back to Tonopah and the end of a 535 mile day.

Then we headed over to Stewart Valley just west of Pahrump, NV where I found several more small meteorites and one slightly larger then my first one.

I would like to pass on to anyone else interested in hunting meteorites some things that will save you some time. I hunted and hunted and may have or may not have missed a bunch of meteorites. I always thought that you could tap a rock with a magnet on a stick and could feel the pull of a meteorite. Nope. You have to break the rock free from the sediment holding it in place and then the rock might move a bit when a magnet gets close to it or touches it. The rock has to be broken free and sometimes you have to work a tiny bit to break it free.

I also tried testing suspected meteorites with a metal detector or a pinpointer. I was "sure" that a metal detector or pinpointer would sing because of the iron content. So I think of all the rocks I tested, in many out of the way desolate places, and cry. We put our meteorite finds down and tested the pinpointer on them. Not a hint of an alert tone. Nothing. I tried my metal detector with the regular coil and Double D prospecting coil and nothing. Not in Relic, Coin or Prospecting mode on my White's MXT.

We even tried my metal detector on the huge 6 pound Franconia meteorite that is bigger than a softball. The metal detector didn't make a sound until I was 4 inches away with only air seperating the coil.

So the secret to finding meteorites is mostly your eyes. You have to see some previously found meteorites and tell you eyes to alert you when you see something of the same color on the ground. A sort of chocolate shiny color that I think resembles the color of coffee grounds but not flat in color. You can then check it with a magnet but I found that I can pretty much be sure it's a meteorite without the magnet test.

After spending about $190 in gas alone, plus motel, food etc I now have several meteorites that are probably worth maybe $15.00
Not a bad return, right? ? ?


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 Post subject: Re: First Meteorite
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:18 am 
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Joined: Sun May 08, 2005 1:44 pm
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Location: Oroville, CA
Cool Bob.........interesting

:allright!:


Fuel prices :Wah:


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 Post subject: Re: First Meteorite
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:15 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:06 pm
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Location: Las Vegas, NV

Photo of Coldsprings Station.
People need a sign to tell them the burnt gas pumps don't work!


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 Post subject: Re: First Meteorite
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2006 4:11 pm
Posts: 669
Location: Kalifornya/Mexifornia
Hey Bob, Congratulations...as far as the cost of your schooling, I'd have to say priceless. You can now identify meteorites and FIND them.

I'm going to be passing thru that way this weekend....Fallon/Middlegate/Cold Springs/Austin/Battle Mtn/Midas/Rochester....looks like I better check for room availability after all.

~M

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 Post subject: Re: First Meteorite
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2006 4:11 pm
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Location: Kalifornya/Mexifornia
........looks like several other Google Earth'ers have mapped meteorite finds right nearby yours...the "i" notes on the GE screencap:


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 Post subject: Re: First Meteorite
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:25 pm
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Location: Henderson Nv.
Very cool Bob. We need to get together and ride again. We have been doing a lot of riding do around Nelson and Searchlight.

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 Post subject: Re: First Meteorite
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 08, 2005 1:44 pm
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Location: Oroville, CA
So it looks like the best place to look for Meteorite's is dry lake beds??? Easier to spot???


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 Post subject: Re: First Meteorite
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:15 am 
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Location: Las Vegas, NV
Yup, Dry lake beds let you find relatively fewer rocks and you can check many faster. Seems that's where all the meteorite hunters go to, one dry lake bed after another. Exceptions would be where they have known strewn fields like Franconia. There you could go into the mesquite and sagebrush and search amongst them for the many meteorites in that area. So unless a strewn field is found dry lake beds are the place.

There is a lot of speculation as to why the lake beds keep yielding the meteorites. It seems that ice, water, wind and errosion are working to expose them so that new ones 'pop' up to the top each year.

The rock in the photo below must have weighted about 30 pounds at least and ice was able to push it quite a distance. Actually they still don't know exactly how these rocks move.



Useful forum post:
What to do if you find a meteorite:
http://www.intrepidexplorers.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=851


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 Post subject: Re: First Meteorite
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:48 pm 
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Location: Oroville, CA
this is very cool..gives you one more thing to do while exploring.

I will be in Mina this weekend from the 26th to the 30th, just incase anyone wants to come along.
staying at the rv park. :allright!:

DAVE


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 Post subject: Re: First Meteorite
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 10:04 pm 
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Location: Las Vegas, NV
Check out this meteorite I found today!! By meteorite standards it's a relatively large one.

Bob Verish gave me preliminary classification information. I'll have to get a 20 gram slice cut one of these days to get it officially analyzed. It has very little weathering. The wetspots are raindrops. Yup, it rains occasionally in the desert.
L6 Chondrite with surface contraction fractures that fell within the past 25 yrs. Also a few chondrules are visible.
Weight 6.2 ounces or about 180 grams
:banana:


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 Post subject: Re: First Meteorite
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:01 am 
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After watching all the "Meteorite Men" episodes on TV. Meteorite hunting seems like it would be fun.

I think I have pinpointed the location of the strewn field on the episode they did on Central Nevada.


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 Post subject: Re: First Meteorite
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:05 am 
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Location: Las Vegas, NV
Yes, I believe I know where it is also.
I haven't gone hunting meteorites in a while. I miss it.

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 Post subject: Re: First Meteorite
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:45 pm 
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Location: Oroville, CA
Bob do you walk the drylake beds or ride your quad, when your hunting????.......stick with a magnet on it??? :Miner:

DAVEF :cowboy: :2ar15: :cowboy:


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 Post subject: Re: First Meteorite
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:06 pm 
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Location: Las Vegas, NV
Both
I know my buddy, the expert, will ride his 4 wheel drive pick-up and stop when he sees something interesting. Also will walk too. I think it just varies based on the concentration of stuff to check out. On a barren dry lake bed you can cover a lot of ground and not see anything for a bit. Along the shores, you would probably have to walk because there is so much stuff to look at closely.

I remember him stopping and me getting out to check out something. He drove off and got 'lost' checking out the lakebed getting farther and farther from me. I realized, he had left me with no water, no communication, etc and I looked around and thought if he leaves, I'm screwed. There is no one around for miles.

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