Bob’s Bulletin – Vol. 3 No. 1

A newsletter for unclassified meteorites found in the USA.

In all of my previous Bob’s Bulletins, I prefaced each one with an explanation of what I mean by the phrase “orphaned-meteorites from the USA”. I defined “orphaned” as being meteorite “finds” that are recovered in the U.S., but are not being recorded. Contrary to what you may think, these meteorites are being reported, but the finders of these meteorites have encountered resistance in getting provisional numbers assigned to their finds, even when the (obvious) meteorites were recovered from officially designated “Dense Collection Areas” (DCA). These meteorites are being ignored. This is in addition to the current practice by the official classifiers of meteorites to refuse to classify Ordinary Chondrites (OC). Without an “official” classification, meteorites cannot get an officially-approved name by the Nomenclature Committee of the Meteoritical Society, and hence, cannot be cataloged. And hence, uncatalogued meteorites are “orphaned”.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of new U.S. finds are destined to remain orphans.

In my preface I would go on to explain that these “Unclassified U.S. finds” (UU) were being orphaned from the family of “approved” meteorites for the following reasons:

1) The lack of funding for U.S. researchers to authenticate, classify, and document/record these U.S. OC finds has resulted in several new [negative]; trends.

2) The increasing trend of commercializing the classification of meteorites by U.S. researchers has priced U.S. OC finds out of the market, and

3) The increasing trend of U.S. researchers to turn away OC finds, even when finders of U.S. OC meteorites are willing to pay for their classification.

This month’s edition of the “Bulletin” focuses on just the most recent US finds that I have had the privilege to record. *** Note: None of the meteorites depicted in this month’s article were found by me. *** So, even though most of these images were taken by me, the following meteorites were found by Mark Bittmann, Richard Garcia, and Mike Mulgrew. All of them were found in the same DCA. All of these finds depicted here were refused assignment of a provisional number. So, that is why, in this Bulletin/Newsletter, I am commencing with the assignment of provisional “UU” numbers for all U.S. OC finds that I can personally authenticate. Although I have personal knowledge of, or have been informed about, many other recent U.S. finds, if I cannot personally confirm their recovery data, then those meteorites won’t appear here in this Bulletin.

And so, consider the meteorites depicted here to be just the tip of the iceberg.

And therein lays the problem. There continues to be a large number of U.S. meteorites being found, and the list of those going unreported is growing longer.

This month’s finds, being nearly all equilibrated ordinary chondrites (and not being in my possession), I will forego the “Petrographic Description” until sometime later. And since nearly all of the specimens are moderately-weathered externally, I will also forego the “Macroscopic Description” until later, as well.
I hope the reader will enjoy the image gallery.

Many U.S. meteorite finds are going unreported, because of a lack of funding to classify U.S. meteorites (granted, there is funding for Antarctic meteorites), which leads to a lack of interest in OC finds by U.S. researchers. The following “Newsletter” is just one example of an alternative way in which to record U.S. OC meteorite finds. My method of assigning “Provisional Numbers”, which uses the date-of-find, is “purposefully-unofficial”, meaning that it actually encourages other meteorite finders (who have gone to the trouble to get their finds authenticated, but have had the door closed in their face when trying to get a provisional number, let alone a classification for their O.C.) to assign their own Prov. UU#s. It won’t compromise or harm my numbering sequence. It won’t make your find any more, or less, a meteorite. The same could be said about the finds depicted in this Newsletter, but it just might get your find “through the door” of a classifier, because there is no such thing as bad-advertising. So if you think it would help to have your “U.U.O.C.” depicted in a future Newsletter, just contact me.

It is my hope that this compilation will bring attention to the problem of the increasing number of meteorites found here in the USA, not only going unclassified, but also going unrecorded. Hopefully, some form of “crowd-funding” could help establish an on-line database that will document these “orphans”.

Newsletter for Unclassified (a.k.a., Orphaned) Meteorites found in the USA – Volume 3 No. 1 — September 2017

  • Meteorite-Recovery Information
    • All sixteen (16) stones were recovered from the same dry lake (all 16 coordinates were GPS recorded) by three (3) volunteers.
  • Petrographic Descriptions
    • All 16 stones appear to be equilibrated Ordinary Chondrites of varied weathering grade. Five (5) stones were sampled and thin-sectioned (Class: TBD). Specimen “UU141220” may be unequilibrated.

Due to the on-going recovery of meteorite finds from not only this one locality, but many others, this edition of the Newsletter is going to forego (until a later time) the publishing of “Recovery Information” (redacted) and “Petrographic Descriptions” (TBD) that usually appears here. For now, what will appear here will be a gallery of images of the finds to include their in-situ photos.

*** Note: The following meteorites in this month’s Newsletter were not found by this author, but by three (3) other people, Mark Bittmann, Richard Garcia, and Mike Mulgrew. ***

Image of the TWELVE Meteorites found by Mark Bittmann — all from the same locality:

To see the above Bittmann finds in chronological order by “find date” – click HERE for .PDF file


Images of the TWO Meteorites found by Michael Mulgrew — from this same locality:

UU140923

Above is the in-situ image for Provisional Number “UU140923” — Photo courtesy M. Mulgrew (2014).

UU141001

Above is the in-situ image for Michael’s other find (both from this same locality) with Provisional Number “UU141001”.

UU141001

Above is the image of “UU141001” after being cut, showing the equilibrated-chondrite interior. Photo courtesy M. Mulgrew (2014).


Images of the TWO Meteorites found by Richard Garcia — from this same locality:

UU140923B

Above is the in-situ image for Richard’s first find (assigned Provisional Number “UU140726B”) — Image courtesy Richard Garcia (2014).

UU140726B

Above is another image of Richard’s first find (15.8g) from this locality. Image courtesy Richard Garcia (2014).

UU140819

Above is the in-situ image for Richard Garcia’s other find (both from this same locality) with Provisional Number “UU140819”. Image courtesy Richard Garcia (2014).


Gallery of Images of Unclassified USA (UU) “Orphaned” Meteorites — from a single California dry lake:

  • PROVISIONAL # — Field ID No. — Mass — Notes: each stone has had its GPS coordinates recorded.
  • UU140705A — CA140705A — 2.0g — physically-paired to UU150110
  • UU140705B — CA140705B — 8.25g — sample cut & thin-section
  • UU140719 — CA140719 — 8.9g — sample cut & thin-section
  • UU140726 — CA140726 — 4.7g
  • UU140726B — CA140726 — 15.8g — found by Richard Garcia
  • UU140819 — CA140913A — 1.2g — found by Richard Garcia
  • UU140913A — CA140913A — 5.2g
  • UU140913B — CA140913B — 3.4g
  • UU140919 — CA140919 — 5.9g
  • UU140923 — CA140923 — 8.9g — found by Michael Mulgrew
  • UU141001 — CA141001 — 8.9g — found by Michael Mulgrew
  • UU141220 — CA141220 — 2.6g — sample cut & thin-section
  • UU141227 — CA141227 — 1.9g
  • UU150103 — CA150103 –11.6g — physically-paired to UU151228
  • UU150110 — CA150110 — 2.8g — sample cut & thin-section — physically-paired to UU140705A
  • UU151228 — CA151228 — 1.9g — sample cut & thin-section — physically-paired to UU150103

Photo Gallery of the FIVE-sampled Mark Bittmann meteorite finds — from this locality — THIN-SECTIONS:

UU140705B:

UU140719:

UU141220:

UU150110:

UU151128:

The above “Newsletter” is just one example of a way in which to record U.S. Unclassified Ordinary Chondrite (UUOC) meteorite finds. Hopefully, this compilation will bring attention to the problem of the increasing number of O.C. meteorites found here in the USA, not only going unclassified, but even going unreported. Hopefully, some volunteers will offer to help establish a database that will document these “orphans”.

In the meanwhile, I will do my part and continue to gather data, and along with others, make a list of what we know to be “orphaned meteorites”.


References:

Bob’s Bulletin – Vol. 2 No. 3 — In my 7th Bulletin, I published a table of six (6) “Provisional (UU) Numbers” (for Unclassified U.S. meteorites) that I assigned to some recent finds:

*** Note: All of these meteorites were found by one person (not this author) – all in one day. ***

Bob’s Bulletin – Vol. 2 No. 2 — In my 6th Bulletin, I published a table of the increasing number of unclassified U.S. meteorite finds and petitioned that crowd-sourced funding be used for volunteers to compile and record these finds for later classification and official-approval, until such time that this function can be properly funded with U.S tax-dollars.

Bob’s Bulletin – Vol. 2 No. 1 — In my 5th Bulletin, I published a table of all the unclassified finds from Coyote Dry Lake DCA that were reported prior to 2007.

Bob’s Bulletin – Vol. 1 No. 4 — In my 4th Bulletin, I reported that several U.S. researchers were volunteering their time and effort to record and publish meteorite falls and finds, such as, Creston and Misfits Flat. I suggested that this method of cataloging newly found US meteorite specimens could be expanded, but the main hindrance is that there is no funding for this kind of effort.

Bob’s Bulletin – Vol. 1 No. 3 — In my 3rd Bulletin, I proposed the idea of an on-line database for these “orphaned” and other unclassified U.S. meteorites. This would have to be an all-volunteer effort, much in the same manner that the American Meteor Society has established the Fireball Reporting System. This database would give finders a central point to report their finds and have a field ID number issued to them. This “Field ID” would reflect which US state and date of find. The function of this database should not be confused with already established processes of getting a meteorite “classified”, which is obviously way more labor intensive and costly.

Bob’s Bulletin – Vol. 1 No. 2 — In my 2nd Bulletin, I went into more detail about why I use the phrase “orphaned-meteorites from the USA”. I focused on the lack of U.S.-tax-dollar-funding and why no funding was going towards the classification of these particular meteorites. In hindsight, I now realize that I should have pointed-out that there is also a lack of funding for just authenticating and recording that a U.S. meteorite has been found. This function should never be confused with “classifying” a meteorite, which is obviously way more labor intensive and costly.

Bob’s Bulletin – Vol. 1 No. 1 — In my first Bulletin, I introduced the phrase “orphaned-meteorites from the USA”. I defined these “orphans” as being unwitnessed-fall Ordinary Chondrite (OC) meteorite “finds” that are recovered in the U.S.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of U.S. finds are of this type. I went on to write that these U.S. finds were being orphaned from the family of “approved” meteorites for the following reasons:

1) The lack of funding for U.S. researchers to authenticate, classify, and document/record these U.S. OC finds has resulted in several new [negative]; trends.

2) The increasing trend of commercializing the classifying of meteorites by U.S. researchers has priced U.S. OC finds out of the market, and

3) The increasing trend of U.S. researchers to turn away OC finds, even when finders of U.S. OC meteorites are willing to pay for their classification.

Meteoritical Bulletin: the search results for all provisional meteorites found in “USA” – Published by Meteoritical Society – Meteoritical Bulletin, Database.

Meteorites of California the list of formally-recognized California meteorite falls and finds.

My previous Bob’s Bulletins can be found *HERE*

If you would like to sponsor any of these orphans, and help in the funding for getting them classified, in order to get them entered into the Meteoritical Bulletin Database, then please contact me by email:

bolidechaser at yahoo-dot-com

About the Author

Bob is a retired aerospace engineer living in Southern California, and has been recovering meteorites from the Southwest U.S. Deserts since 1995.
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