Meteorite Hunting Book Review

I have done book reviews before. Usually the only characters in the books are meteorites or tektites. In this case Meteorite Hunting How To Find Treasure From Space I know almost every character mentioned in the book. That made it very special for me, but by the end of the reading it was clear that this book was far more than a collection of stories about individuals I know. It was so rich in information that it will be the instructional tool for new meteorite hunters for years to come. It will serve as a great resource for the seasoned hunter as well.

Here's Geoff Notkin at one of the book signings during the Tucson Gem Show. Not pictured is the long line of adoring fans waiting to meet him and get a book.

To hunt anything in life requires that the hunter know their prey. After telling us what meteorites are, and an introduction of the proper terminology, Geoff dives right in with a very thorough description of the different types of meteorites and how to recognize them. The physical, visual and textural characteristics of meteorites are covered in detail. Fewer stones will escape the pursuit of the hunter who has read this book.

For the new hunter waiting by his TV for the next fall Geoff gives loads of information about strewn field characteristics, the importance of research and how to prepare for and carry out a search. Always putting the emphasis on doing it right. All the warnings about regard for others property and observing the varying laws are stressed. The needed discussion of compensation for the land owner is offered. Dreams of quick riches are tempered with a more realistic view of rewards achieved from honest labor diligently put into hunting.

The thrill of finding a treasure from outer space is never far from the reader’s mind as Geoff recounts one adventure after another. And nothing ever makes for a better book then when the author truly loves what he is writing about. Geoff’s passion and determination to find meteorites jumps off every page.

Just barely readable is the name Imilac on this shot up sign, from just one of Geoff's great meteorite adventures

No matter what you hunt you will need tools, and the same goes for meteorites. What works for one type of meteorite at a particular location may not work for the next. The variables discussed regarding what tools to use and when will really help the novice increase their chances of success. Metal detectors, magnet canes, GPS units, and cameras are just some of the equipment that the meteorite hunter needs to use. Geoff doesn’t paint an unrealistic picture of how these tools perform. We are told that there is a lot of scrap metal to be dug before the real thing is found. But, with a gentle pat on the back Geoff sends the reader forward with the encouragement that perseverance will pay off. And after all anything in life that is really important requires time and effort and practice.

I know I am never going to have a meteorite hunting tool as cool as the custom made Meteorite Men motorcycle.

Important topics like recording the location, getting the newly found meteorites tested, and submitting it for official listing are provided to aid the eager new hunter. Advise on how to be safe and still have fun are always important when desert and isolated locations are involved and Geoff handles these topics well.

I guess it is clear that I really like this book. But, it would just be a good read with less usefulness if it was not done with great pictures and diagrams. Fortunately, this book is another example of what seems to be Geoff’s endless capacity to produce beautiful printed products. Great photography, well reproduced on a nice heavy coated stock makes this book both a delight to read, but more importantly a real resource with clear visual information about what meteorites are and how they look.

I hope to see this book around for years to come. I can only image how many new meteorite hunters will get a boost up to the successful recovery of the rarest objects on Earth from studying its pages. I know it has made me want to get out more often.

After all is said and written there really are few things as exciting as digging up a piece of asteroid that no other person has ever seen before.


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About the Author

James Tobin
The Meteorite Exchange, Inc. was born in 1996 with meteorite.com and Meteorite Times Magazine in 2002. Still enthusiastic about meteorites and all things related to them, we hunt, collect, cut and prepare specimens. We travel to gem shows and enjoy meteorites as much now as in the beginning. Please feel free to share any comments you have on this or any of our other sites.
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