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A Stone’s Journey: From Space to New Jersey?

At approximately 12:14 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 8, 2023, a ~1kg stone smashed through the roof of a home in Hopewell Township, Mercer County, New Jersey.

No one was home at the time of the event. However, the owners would come home to find a mysterious 984g stone resting near the bed in one of the upstairs bedrooms. Upon examination, they realized that this stone had crashed through their roof, bounced off their hardwood floor, and then impacted the ceiling again before landing in its final resting place. One of the finders would later recount that the stone was warm to the touch when she picked it up.

This event made the news, which prompted me to take a drive down to New Jersey from Connecticut. I had just gotten back from an unsuccessful hunt in Elmshorn, Germany, but I couldn’t miss this opportunity.

 


Author with finders.

 

When I showed up at the home, I noticed a man standing at the doorway, so I approached and asked if he would be willing to discuss the meteorite that had struck the house three days prior. The man and his wife were reluctant to speak to me at first, stating that they had already been questioned multiple times and that they weren’t in possession of the stone, as it had been taken to the local university for study.

I spoke to them a bit about some of the meteorite recoveries I had taken part in, and they slowly became less defensive. They were very kind people in a situation that was completely unexpected. I could sense and understand their apprehension.

That was when they mentioned that one of the hunters who had been there the previous day had encouraged them to look around for additional fragments. That morning, she had decided to take that hunter’s advice and looked under and around the bed. While doing so, she found two additional fragments: a 1.9g crusted fragment and a 13.6g crusted fragment with impact marks from hitting the wood floor.

 


13.6g fragment found on the morning of May 11th with marks from impact with floorboards.

 


13.6g fragment found on the morning of May 11th interior.

 

I would later buy that 13.6g fragment from the owner and worked with another private party to purchase the remainder of the stone. One stipulation of the sale made by the owners was that the majority of the main mass would go to an institution. However, I was able to secure a 90g sample (after donation for classification).

The entrance piece of the roof and ceiling, as well as the floorboards, will be used to make a display at the main mass’s new home. I was given the opportunity to keep the ricochet impact pit caused by the stone. For your viewing pleasure, I present the most recent U.S. witnessed fall and hammerstone!

 


101g end-cut next to impact pit from ricochet.

 


101g end-cut.

 


101g end-cut.

 

Before this fall, New Jersey had only one other meteorite on record, “Deal”, a 28g OC that fell in 1829. This is New Jersey’s second meteorite on record.

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