Mike's Astro Photos
Jul.14 2009

Mason Dixon Meteor Press Release

by , under Mason Dixon Meteor

This is a press release that Steve Arnold from the discovery/science channel just sent out on the local news contacts.

I talked to a police officer and an ambulance driver in wrightville yesterday. I think both of these people witnessed contact with the ground. The ambulance driver described it as “It was blue and then it changed colors. It was like when a transformer blows up.” The police office said he saw it thru his rear view mirror, but that it didn’t fly anywhere, “Just lit up and then went away”. Neither of these people heard the sonic boom, which suggests the object was going <600 MPH when they saw it. I’m going to be meeting them again at the exact location so we can determine directions and line of site. Both of these witnesses were within a couple miles of each other.


PA Meteor Bulls Eye Located
from Steve Arnold

Target area narrowed
Scientist uses photo and video to plot trajectory
“Blip” seen on Doppler Radar image
Call for locals to look for meteorites
What to look for
Steve Arnold has returned home to Arkansas but still is monitoring, and might return
Amateur astro-photographer Mike Hankey joins the search spear pointing efforts on the ground
Contact info at bottom

Using both the video footage from the York Water Company security videos and the still photo captured by Mike Hankey telescope in Freeland, Maryland, and field data gathered by professional meteorite hunter Steve Arnold, scientist Rob Matson has narrowed down the zone where fragments of the meteorite should be located.

The photo data helps us locate where the fireball burned out, but the meteorites would still be spread out over an area of probably 1 mile wide by 5 miles long, possibly even longer.  The angle of decent indicates the pieces might not be spread out too far.
The meteorite will carry a little further beyond the point the light phenomenon ceased, but this gives us a lot smaller target area to focus on.
The Susquehanna River cuts through the zone near Pequea.

Rob Matson, is space scientist/aerospace engineer specializing in simulation and modeling of infrared sensors and phenomenology. On the hobby (i.e. unpaid) side, I’m an amateur astronomer focused on the discovery of comets, asteroids and meteorites.  Located in Seal Beach, CA, Matson is available for interviews at XXX-XXX-XXXX.
Matson states:  “My best estimate at the moment is that meteorites should be found somewhere in the region bounded by Pequea, Colemanville, Martic
Forge, Marticville, Holtwood, Bethesda (PA of course), and Rawlinsville. The west side of the Susquehanna isn’t ruled out, but I would strongly favor the east side.”

Locals in the area need to look down!  Odds are strongly in favor of notified locals finding pieces of the meteorite over the chances even professional meteorite hunters would have.  Walking the dog, mowing the grass, walking across parking lots, walking along the sides of the roads, local are encouraged to look for smooth, dark black rocks.  These rocks will be heavier than other rocks of their size, and should attract a strong magnet (not a weak refrigerator magnet).  They will NOT be porous like lave.  They should have rounded corners, often oblong, shaped like a potato.  They can be any size from pea sized to basketball sized or larger.  Fist sized or larger can punch a hole in the ground, but smaller ones will often dent the ground and sometimes bounce.   If there is a naturally broken face, those edges can be sharp, with the interior usually a light cement looking gray color.

Meteorites do not have any radiation, but oils on your hand could do some minor damage.  Ideally, picking it up should be done with a plastic baggy or a gloved hand, but the important thing is to get them pick them up. Any rocks with a black smooth surface, that are attracted by a magnet should be checked out by an expert. Once the first specimen is found, then determining where the others are will be much easier.

Hankey’s photo revealed at least 6 fragments, and there is a possibility for hundreds of stones if there was a late break up, as often is the case.

Arnold is encouraged that meteorites can and will be found. Meteorites belong to private property owners, so any would be hunters must get permission to hunt and remove anything before going on to private property to search. Any finds should be reported to Steve Arnold at www.MeteoriteMen.com any finds will be reported by Steve back to the media (if the media outlets want to sort through the good and bad leads, by all means they can direct their own reader/viewer to contact them directly on any possible find instead of Steve.)

This is a photochop to all you haters on the meteorite list!

This is a photochop to all you haters on the meteorite list!

Amateur Astro-Photographer Mike Hankey has become an amateur meteorite hunter.  “He has been bitten by the meteorite bug pretty hard”  commented Arnold.  “He has a passion to personally recover at least one of the rocks his camera captured, and I don’t think he is going to stop until he gets one.”
Hankey has printed up flyers and with Arnold and Matson’s new data, he is heading to the target zone today to help spread the word.
Arnold has returned to his home in Arkansas but is still actively fielding reports and working to get the word out to people in the area.  If any significant developments occur, Arnold will be back in the area soon to continue his work and filming for his TV show Meteorite Men on Science Channel.
Arnold is still interested in video footage of the fall from any security cameras in the area.  At this time, further eye witnessed reports are not needed.
Meteorite Men, co-staring Steve Arnold and his hunting partner Geoff Notkin of Tucson, AZ airs on Science Channel 4 times this week:  July 15, 16 and 17

Check listings here:

Steve Arnold can be reached at meteorhntr@aol.com and  www.MeteoriteMen.com
Mike Hankey can be reached at mike@nerd.com and www.mikesastrophotos.com
Rob Matson can be reached at ROBERT.D.MATSON@saic.com


2 Comments for this entry

  • todd

    nice outfit!

  • Gary Parks


    On July 26, 2009 I found an unusual rock lying on top of some mulch in my parent’s yard in north-central Maryland (Carroll County). It is totally unlike anything in the area. It looks like a meteorite to me. It is gray, with irregular shape, indentations which appear to have possibly been made by hot gas, and a few small rusty spots. The rock is about 2 inches wide. It is not attracted to a strong magnet. No one in the family had put the rock where it was found. No digging has occurred recently around where it was found. The region where this rock was found would be somewhat in line with your projected path of the recent meteor that may have landed near the Susquehanna River.

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