# I may have found a couple of meteorites

#### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
On the other hand, I just spoke with the professor from the meteorite lab, and he's willing to drive 40 miles to take a look. :surprised

He chuckled at bit when I said that recognizing one on sight seems to be an art form. If I grind off a small section to expose the inner material, apparently he can tell at a glance.

Last edited:

#### zoobyshoe

On the other hand, I just spoke with the professor from the meteorite lab, and he's willing to drive 40 miles to take a look. :surprised

He chuckled at bit when I said that recognizing one on sight seems to be an art form. If I grind off a small section to expose the inner material, apparently he can tell at a glance.
Wow! They make housecalls.

This will settle it. If it turns out they are meteorites there may be more. A much larger one might have shattered such that there are more pieces to the puzzle.

If they were two completely unrelated meteorites, that would be some kind of record, to find them so close to each other, and both on your first try.

#### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Wow! They make housecalls.

This will settle it. If it turns out they are meteorites there may be more. A much larger one might have shattered such that there are more pieces to the puzzle.

If they were two completely unrelated meteorites, that would be some kind of record, to find them so close to each other, and both on your first try.
Not a housecall but the nearest reasonable, mutually convenient meeting place. However, it turns out he will be going through this area later this week, so we are hoping to meet up then when he's passing by.

#### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Okay, I should know by about noon tomorrow. Turns out he has spent many hours doing research-related work in the restaurant I suggested as a meeting place. He also has some very deep family roots around here, with a town, a lake, a creek, roads, stores, and other public locations carrying his family name.

Also, just for the record, I was able to check the density of the larger stone a bit more accurately and came up with 3.3 +-0.1gr/ml.

Last edited:

#### arildno

Homework Helper
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
Okay, I should know by about noon tomorrow. Turns out he has spent many hours doing research-related work in the restaurant I suggested as a meeting place.
Has he found any leaverites there??

#### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Has he found any leaverites there??
As it turns out, 99.8% of all potential finds are leaverites.

It is some form of basalt. He said the density isn't quite right for basalt so he's not sure of the origins.

A few facts that he passed along: Firstly, had this been a meteorite it would have been a VERY BIG deal. I had no idea!!! Only six have ever been found in Oregon and the last two resulted in national press conferences. He said that Oregon is particularly tough because we have a lot of magnetic basalts, which can make meteorite identification in the field all but impossible. In fact, there is almost no way to distinguish between magnetic basalt, and a lunar or Martian meteorite. Many times the only way to know it’s a meteorite [without an electron microscope] is if it hits a house or barn.

I guess even the experts spend most of their careers chasing dead ends. But he took a bit of time to show me various types of meteorites that he brought with him. He said that on the average, there is about one meteorite on every square mile of land, but finding them is quite a challenge.

Also, he gave his blessing for the nickel test kit approach. He said they work well and are typically definitive.

For my own purposes, it was noteworthy that the stone meteorites were affected by a strong magnet more than my basalt samples. So this would seem to be a good point of reference. A stone meteorite won't stick to a magnet as forcefully as a chunk of iron will, but the basalt was significantly less magnetic than the real McCoy.

Last edited:

#### arildno

Homework Helper
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
Have you tried my Newtonian test yet??

#### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Have you tried my Newtonian test yet??
Why? Now I have a good point of reference for magnetic basalt. And the fact still stands that this creek moves tons of rocks through the property each year. He thought it was a great idea to check this each summer. So it makes sense to keep the false hits as references.

#### zoobyshoe

As it turns out, 99.8% of all potential finds are leaverites.

It is some form of basalt. He said the density isn't quite right for basalt so he's not sure of the origins.

A few facts that he passed along: Firstly, had this been a meteorite it would have been a VERY BIG deal. I had no idea!!! Only six have ever been found in Oregon and the last two resulted in national press conferences. He said that Oregon is particularly tough because we have a lot of magnetic basalts, which can make meteorite identification in the field all but impossible. In fact, there is almost no way to distinguish between magnetic basalt, and a lunar or Martian meteorite. Many times the only way to know it’s a meteorite [without an electron microscope] is if it hits a house or barn.

I guess even the experts spend most of their careers chasing dead ends. But he took a bit of time to show me various types of meteorites that he brought with him. He said that on the average, there is about one meteorite on every square mile of land, but finding them is quite a challenge.

Also, he gave his blessing for the nickel test kit approach. He said they work well and are typically definitive.

For my own purposes, it was noteworthy that the stone meteorites were affected by a strong magnet more than my basalt samples. So this would seem to be a good point of reference. A stone meteorite won't stick to a magnet as forcefully as a chunk of iron will, but the basalt was significantly less magnetic than the real McCoy.
Wow, I am amazed they're that rare! I thought the odds were perfectly in favor of them being meteorites, what with billions of years of bombardment.

I ran into my old friend, Dave the Scrap Metal Guy last night. He's into reclaiming the precious metals from electronics now. I went over to his house and he showed me a lump of what he said was platinum/palladium/rhodium that he scavenged from hard drive disks. He said it weighed just about an ounce and should be worth around $1600.00. He went out and bought drums of hydrochloric and nitric acids, and he dissolves every thing and precipitates the precious metals out one by one. On a side note, he only recently discovered what monel was. He's afraid that for years he's been selling it as stainless steel, which is only worth 57 cents a pound as compared to$4.00 a pound for monel.

Anyway, I think everyone enjoys treasure hunting of one kind or another.

#### DaveC426913

Gold Member
I have a very simple test, requiring virtually no effort on your part.

1] Give the rocks to me.
2] If you don't hear anything from me, it was not a valuable rock.
Optional:
3] Check what's parked in my driveway.

#### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Wow, I am amazed they're that rare! I thought the odds were perfectly in favor of them being meteorites, what with billions of years of bombardment.
Yeah, that was definitely news to me. I knew it was highly unlikely that one might go out and find one in fifteen minutes, but I also was under the impression that if you spend a good amount of time looking, sooner or later you're likely to find one. Not so. At least, not in Oregon.

Anyway, I think everyone enjoys treasure hunting of one kind or another.
What makes me cringe a bit is to think that for about seventeen summers, we've walked that creek and looked very carefully for quartz, petrified wood, and semi-precious stones. And we've found about five, five-gallon buckets full of those treasures. But it never occurred to me before that we should be looking for meteorites as well.

Last edited:

#### arildno

Homework Helper
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
Meteorites are very common in Norway.
On their way down, they tend to slice off our mountain tops, and that is why we have so many rounded mountains here, rather than an alpine landscape.

#### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Interestingly, a quick check of the math suggests that the odds of any given rock being magnetic basalt, in my creek, are probably ~ 1:100,000. So it was still a rare find!

In reality, the treasure find rate varies greatly with the flow rate. Things are always most interesting after typically maximum flows - in the range of 100 cfs. You can hear boulders tumbling, 24 hours a day, when the flow gets that high. We have seen flows as high as 300 cfs but that was a 500 year flood. Some years, the flow may never exceed ~ 30 cfs.

#### Borek

Mentor
If you put strong enough magnet in the creek you can be sure you will not miss any iron meteorites. Nor magnetic basalt.

#### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
If you put strong enough magnet in the creek you can be sure you will not miss any iron meteorites. Nor magnetic basalt.
Ooooh, a magnetic net! That's an interesting idea.

The creek is up to about twenty feet in width, and you would want the "net" in an area where the water velocity it at a minimum - the widest spot - so it could be pretty expensive to cover that span with magnets, but I'm going to have to ponder that one for a time.

#### zoobyshoe

Yeah, that was definitely news to me. I knew it was highly unlikely that one might go out and find one in fifteen minutes, but I also was under the impression that if you spend a good amount of time looking, sooner or later you're likely to find one. Not so. At least, not in Oregon.
Did he happen to mention where the most meteorites are found?
What makes me cringe a bit is to think that for about seventeen summers, we've walked that creek and looked very carefully for quartz, petrified wood, and semi-precious stones. And we've found about five, five-gallon buckets full of those treasures. But it never occurred to me before that we should be looking for meteorites as well.
Seriously, if you have quartz you may well have gold/silver. Of course, it's going to be fine particles, but I think it would be worth it to do some panning.

#### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Did he happen to mention where the most meteorites are found?

No.

[qsuote]Seriously, if you have quartz you may well have gold/silver. Of course, it's going to be fine particles, but I think it would be worth it to do some panning.
I told you my solution there. I have a guy who will do all the work and split any finds. Trust is an issue, but assuming that can be managed, it works for me. Doing it myself sounds like too much like work and not enough like fun.

#### zoobyshoe

I told you my solution there. I have a guy who will do all the work and split any finds. Trust is an issue, but assuming that can be managed, it works for me. Doing it myself sounds like too much like work and not enough like fun.
Yes, but you said he never got back to you. I, personally, would want to check and see if there is any there at all, even if you don't feel like trying to recover it.

#### Ophiolite

Did he happen to mention where the most meteorites are found?
Antarctica and deserts, for the obvious reason that in these environments they are, well, obvious.

#### Ms Music

As it turns out, 99.8% of all potential finds are leaverites.
Even if it winds up NOT being anything worth money, don't call it a leaverite! I would still put it on my fireplace mantle in a place of honor. This has been a fun thread to follow, and the rocks would make a GREAT conversation piece. It is far more interesting than MY "meteorite." It looks like a golf ball (meteorites aren't round) and it is non magnetic. But I keep my "meteorite" on the fireplace mantle anyway. Although I can still hear my dad's voice in my head muttering it is a leaverite.

Your meteorites/rocks/whatever don't qualify as leaverites in my book.

#### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Yes, but you said he never got back to you. I, personally, would want to check and see if there is any there at all, even if you don't feel like trying to recover it.
True, and I have a customer who has also been pushing me to check for gold. When I mentioned the other interested party, he said he would bring his kit down next time, so I should have a chance to take a look for myself. However, I'm not about to spend my time panning for gold. I'll have a CAT D8 in here before that happens. But I think any real evidence of gold would have the first guy here with his equipment, almost immediately.

Staff Emeritus