Mike's Astro Photos
Sep.09 2009

Great Lead – Dead End?

by , under Mason Dixon Meteor

Dented Roof In New Holland

Dented Roof In New Holland

As I reported earlier, I recently got a great lead from a woman in New Holland named Jeane (pronounced with the e, think I Dream of…). Jeane couldn’t sleep the morning of July 6th and was watching Ghost Hunters when she heard a very loud crashing noise right outside her bedroom window. The next morning she looked outside her window and noticed a large dent in her metal porch roof. Everything about the initial report sounded very promising and was and still is the best lead I have gotten since the meteorite search started. New Holland is not in our current focus area, but it is within the greater impact zone. The specific house is approximately 1/2 miles south of the geometric impact point.  A meteorite found in this location is totally plausible and would support all of the data we are working with.

Dislodged and Broken Fascia Board

Dislodged and Broken Fascia Board

I went out to her house last Thursday, examined the damage, took some pictures and looked around her property but did not find any meteorites. I did notice the obvious big dent in the corrugated steel roof and what looked like black roofing tar splattered in the same location as the dent, (but no where else on the patio roof).  With my head out the window I turned my body around, looked up and noticed the fascia board was cracked and dislodged from the house. The cracked fascia board was about one foot to the left of the dent in the patio roof.  Jeane said she definitely would have noticed the dent before and when I looked at it from the underside of the porch I believed her. This would be a hard thing to miss. She also stated that she looked outside the window that morning because she had heard the noise the night before and it sounded like something had hit the porch roof.

Dog Hole Where Meteorite Should Be

Dog Hole Where Meteorite Should Be

After examining the roof from the upstairs I went to the backyard and looked around. At the end of the porch, aligned with the dent I saw a rather large hole in the ground about 3 inches closer to the house than I would have expected to see a meteorite had it rolled off the metal roof and onto the ground. Jeane said she hadn’t noticed the hole and said her dog (a boxer named precious) didn’t dig holes (I found two other holes in the yard and Jeane was surprised to see those as well).

After searching for a little over an hour I left Jeane’s house and asked her if I could come back again the next to day look around some more. After I left her house I drove around and stopped at about 8-10 different businesses in the area. Compared to the farmlands I have been searching recently New Holland is like a booming metropolis. There are a lot of agricultural businesses in this area and I stopped by several different warehouses and left messages with the facilities manager to keep an eye out for meteorites on the roof tops. I also went to a driving range that was closed at the time (I searched the range, but only found golf balls).

Three Cars With Dents

Three Cars With Dents

I then went by two different car dealerships. I asked them if they had any cars on their lots damaged after July 4th weekend. One of the dealerships told me that 3 cars had been damaged the Monday after July 4th weekend. All three cars were lined up next to each other and all three had what the manager described as ‘bb-gun dents’ in the passenger side windows. The cars were parked such that the passenger side doors were facing south. Three cars next to each other all getting hit by meteorites seemed like a stretch to me and I asked around if this was possible. I was told it was unlikely as normally meteorites would be falling straight down and not at an angle. I finished up the time in New Holland that day hunting along the train tracks. Talk about a fun place to look for meteorites.

I sent the pictures out to a couple of people that night and got back some skeptical replies. The main concern was the dent was wider than what would be expected. It also lacked visible scratches that also would have been expected had a meteorite caused it. I was told the dent looked like it was caused by something that was soft and big, not something that was small and hard. I was in the area that Friday working on some farms so I went back to her house later that afternoon. I didn’t search much but I talked to her about what to look for. I also told her I wanted to get on the top of the roof to see if there was any other damage up there. I also wanted to run my metal detector through her backyard.

Bent Roof

Bent Roof

I went back to Jeane’s house again for a third time tonight and brought along my friend Dan Casey. Dan is a home inspector with National Property Inspectors and knows a lot about houses, damage to houses and is in general a pretty analytical thinker about these kinds of things. Dan has gone hunting with me a couple of times and has been helping me out with the search however he can. If you need a home inspection in Baltimore County or Southern Pennsylvania give Dan a call, he’s a great guy and really knows his stuff.  Dan climbed to the top of the roof and took this picture. The metal frame is bent right above the dent on the porch roof below. After Dan came down, I climbed up the ladder and took a look myself. It was coincidentally placed, but after thinking about it, we both agreed, that whatever would have left such a dent in the lower roof would have caused more damage in the upper roof (although I still think its possible…)

I ran an Earth magnet through the dog hole and in the flower beds next to the porch. I found magnetic particles in the dirt, but I think the ground is contaminated with a lot of metal as I was getting hits all over the back yard with my metal detector.

I realize that if you look at a pizza pie long enough you will see the Virgin Mary, however there are a lot of things going on at this house that suggest a meteorite hit it:

– Jeane’s initial report
– The broken fascia board
– The bent frame on the upper roof
– The dog hole
– The huge dent in the porch roof

The interesting thing about the three dog holes is they were all in locations where a meteorite could have landed after bouncing off the porch roof. Something is telling me the dog found the meteorite, hid it somewhere and then dug the holes to look for more.


5 Comments for this entry

  • steve

    the blue grey rocks in the dog hole ? not all but very few meteorites achondrites dont stick to a magnet. dig a hole nearby and compare what you see in your dig to the dog hole. then dig into the dog holes deeper as the damage to the roof and facia might be from material ejected from the dogholes on impact. the meteorites could be burried as much as 2 feet below the surface. my son and a friend dug into a dog hole what they thought was where a turtle laid its eggs, only to find a 4lb charcoal black rock. about 2 feet down. and no turtle eggs.
    also meteorites may fall strait down but ejected pebbles from an impact could have damaged the car windows. if the cars have not been moved the chunk of glass inside the cars lined up with the hole should point to the direction of the impact. 3 reference points from three cars should give you a realy precice impact area. I hope its a lunar lol

  • jeff


    Are you going to send out a larger mailer?? Give me the parameters and how you want the labels….bar coded, word, acrobat, acres, zip codes….

    The mailers should go out before the corn fields are cut so the farmers will keep an eye out for black heavy magnetic rocks. Do you know when the corn fields are typically cut???

    If you could pdf me a packet of information, I can pass it out when I am up there this week. The newspaper article would be great. I got it off the net but it doesn’t look the same.

    I was talking to some people about the magnetic array thing. The easiest and most powerful way to create a magnet is to wrap a piece of metal with wire and run a current thru it. Text book Electromagnet. You can make the bar as long as possible, wrap it with wire, wrap it in duct tape and run a current, probably a car battery thru the coil. I am just wondering how strong of a magnet it will create??? I think someone will find something during the corn harvest. Just a feeling I have.

  • Gerald

    Who believes this BS story? Simple question- where are the meteorites??? Don’t tell me the dog ate them…


  • Dion

    creating your own magnet is a good idea, but you need to be carefull of the heat generated. Check the Mark on this subject I bet he laready has a couple.

  • Mark

    Dion has a good point. You really can’t just hook up any ole car battery to any ole coil of wire wrapped around any ole metal bar and not get burned beyond all recognition. The electromagnet needs to be designed for the purpose. But really I don’t see the need for it. A good sized rare earth magnet will pick up an iron-bearing meteorite just as well with a fraction of the hassle. If you’re really convinced the dog did something with the meteorite, why not offer up a freshly fallen sample from your collection and let it sniff it. If the dog seems to get excited by the smell, then you know you’re dealing with a genuine rock hound and you can begin negotiations – I suggest a bacon burger would be a fair trade. But if he looks at you like you’re crazy and pees on your shoes… well…. then…. :lol:

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