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LEEDEY Meteorite

The Leedey meteorite fell in the evening of November 25, 1943 in western Oklahoma. The story of its recovery tells marvelously well how the traveling conditions and the communications have changed in the last 70 years. It is also a marvelous example of collaboration between the two best known meteorites hunters of the time: Oscar Monnig and Harvey Nininger. And no one can tell it better than Oscar Monnig himself.

This report has apparently never been published and has been in Dr. Elhmann’s private records all these years. So I will let him introduce it:

The Leedey meteorite was thus recovered quickly but then it had to wait. Was it due to pre-occupation with World War Two or could it be that Mr. Monnig was too busy managing the family stores, we don’t know. The meteorite was quickly described in the 1950s by Nininger but it was not analyzed until the 1970s and was finally published in the Meteoritical Bulletin in 1997, with this map of the strewn field.

Map published in Meteoritics & Planetary Sciences, 1997


This picture was also in Dr. Ehlmann’s papers and it does show the main mass of the Leedey meteorite, however there is no note as to who the car belonged to. Could it be the car that Harvey Nininger was driving when he went to pick up Mr. Monnig?

As per their prior agreement to divide anything they would find equally between the two of them, Oscar Monnig and Harvey Nininger split the main mass of 20.4 kilos right down the middle, half of it is now proudly displayed in Monnig Meteorite Gallery, in the Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. The other half was acquired by Arizona State University along with most of Nininger’s meteorite collection in 1961.

Photo by Geoff Notkin / © Oscar Monnig Meteorite Collection


About the Author

I am a French-native, who moved to the States many years ago. Being in Colorado, I discovered the Denver Mineral Show, and I met Dr Alain Carion, the French expert and I started helping him during the Denver Show. Eventually he got me interested in meteorites but I really learned all about them when he asked me to translate his book “Meteorites” into English. That led to many new things: translation of his second book on meteorites, of various articles and most of all it lead to the creation of my website: IMPACTIKA.com in 1998. As a full-time meteorite dealer I now attend the shows in Denver, Ensisheim and Tucson where I have my own showroom. Along the way I also participated in the creation of the International Meteorite Collectors Association, where I was elected and re-elected President, and wrote many articles that you will find on Meteorite-Times.com.