From: WBranchsb@aol.com [mailto:WBranchsb@aol.com]
Sent: Friday, November 27, 1998 3:51 AM
Subject: Re: Meteorite Until PROVEN Meteorwrong
That was a great story!
I occasionally am asked to identify possible meteorites and I always tell
these these people not to send it to me but to a laboratory for verification
(not another dealer). Your story just reinforces me me to continue this
Granted, my story is probably the exception, but I wonder......
I'm hesitant about telling this story for fear of sounding self- congratulatory, but
this recent spate of posts about meteorite identification makes me think there may be
a lesson to be learned here. After all, four years ago I, too, was asking
for assistance in having my meteorite wanna-be to be positively identified.
First by local "experts" (anybody that has seen more real meteorites than me).
They said, "highly unlikely", "no fusion crust", "inconclusive"! So, I sent it
back East to a well respected commercial meteorite firm that
offered free analysis & ID. They said, "Sorry, it's hematite"!
Well, that didn't satisfy my curiosity, so I placed it on the shelf of my bookcase, and
that is where it has sat all this time until today during the halftime of the
Pittsburgh-Detroit NFL game, when my wife suggested that I clean off that shelf.
While cleaning off this shelf, I looked at this "wanna-be" for the 300th time and
still wondered why my wishful thinking would cause me to disagree so much with the "experts"?
But this time, as I looked at it, I saw it differently. I've looked at a lot of meteorites
this past year, and now my "wanna-be" reminded me of some those Saharan O.C.s that I've recently seen.
The game was starting back up, so I hurriedly decided to throw this "hematite nodule"
into my saw and see what was really inside once and for all.
By the time Pittsburgh tied the game, I had in my hand a small end cut with....
- "Holy Shiite Muslim" - "metal fleck!!"
I actually wondered whether my wishful thinking was fooling my senses?
(Did I really hear Jerome Bettis say "tails" on the coin toss?)
I quickly cleaned off the slab, and now I could clearly see chondrules.
I remember hearing myself mumble, "I've BOUGHT worse looking H6s!"
Even though Pittsburgh eventually lost the game, I was still chuckling to myself.
For the whole time that I've been stomping around the Mojave Desert trying to find
the 30th (next) California meteorite, it turns out to be sitting on my bookshelf
the whole time! Doh!
Now when someone presents me with their "wanna-be" (now cast in the role as "the expert"),
I never say that it isn't a meteorite. I just insist that they take it to
any one of the seven laboratories available for verification, and wish them "Good Luck".
Because good luck does happen. ;-)
Hope your Thanksgiving was as happy as mine,
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