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Junction City Georgia Fall : Technological And Social Aspects Of The Hunt

Dear solar system, if you want to keep disrupting my writing plans … you go right ahead! It has been quite the year so far for United States falls. I certainly am not complaining, as I love to see fresh meteorites as much as the next person.

This is the third bolide over the United States so far in 2022 that has resulted in meteorite recoveries. To put that into perspective it has been four years between this trio of falls (Cranfield, Mississippi, Great Salt Lake, Utah, and Junction City, Georgia) since the fall of Hamburg, Michigan and Glendale, Arizona in 2018. To get to a more prolific fall year you would have to go back 24 years to 1998 when four meteorites fell (Portales Valley, New Mexico, Monahans (1998), Texas, Indian Butte, Arizona, and Elbert, Colorado). So 2022 has been a boon year, and hopefully — fingers crossed with two months to go — you will hear from me in this vein of articles one more time … maybe more than that …

In that 24 years a lot has changed in the world as far as technology and its availability. These changes flow down into meteorite hunting; however, it is worth noting that a few tried and true techniques of the old hunting masters like Nininger are still highly effective. A good example is canvasing the strewn field properties with fliers to educate local land owners. This old non-digital spreading of the word increases knowledge that rocks are on the ground in the area, and coupled with a nice illustration of a fresh meteorite, helps eliminate locals gathering meteorwrongs. Contact information on a card helps get the find information over to the meteorite folks collecting data and helps to better populate strewn field maps. I have seen this work first hand, and it is still as successful today as it was back in Nininger’s day. Likewise the power of the printed and broadcast word has not fully been eliminated by the effectiveness of modern social media. A good radio interview or newspaper article on a fall shortly after its occurrence is still a valuable way to get the word out to the local community, especially where such outlets have a high viewership.

At the other end of the spectrum I could only imagine the amazement Nininger might feel chasing falls based off radar returns and doorbell camera triangulations. The digitally watched world, has come a long way towards making sure more fireballs are captured, and the amount of data per event is exponentially larger than ever before with All-Sky cameras, doorbell cameras and dash cams.

The increase in number of fireballs noticed and the better recorded details, increases the overall number of hunted bolides, and provides for a better expectation of what might have survived atmospheric entry. NASA’s interest in meteorite recovery coupled with lightning tracking satellite imagery also provides a good early indicator of an event of interest. Even software that integrates eye witness reports to triangulate a theoretical landing solution are benefits we enjoy in the U.S. that are not available for vast parts of the world.

Technology works both for and against the meteorite hunter. Sticking to the topic of cameras, a word of caution to hunters especially in the name of keeping in the good graces of the locals on any particular hunt, and the general view of meteorite hunters in the grand scheme of things, is the woods now have “eyes.” With so many cheap available trail cameras it’s important to be cognizant of where you are and not wander onto property you don’t have permission to be on. Should you make a mistake (and it’s quite easy to do wandering through the woods with poorly marked property boundaries), being prepared and able to deescalate an inadvertent trespassing scenario is something to keep in mind.

As a meteorite hunter, once you commit to going to the strewn field, there are things out there you can do ahead of time to increase your odds of success. For instance, completing a map reconnaissance of the area to hunt has never been easier. Coming up with a hunting strategy supported by documenting your plan on a digital map by inserting pins with details allows you to save time on executing your search. Likewise, time spent at home preparing, or enroute reaching out to establish huntable areas has never been more convenient.

If the strewn field does not include much searchable public land, establishing some rapport with local landowners is the best way to gain access to huntable ground. Having the social skills to read the folks you encounter is invaluable, as not all folks will share the enthusiasm you have and be open to even having a conversation with you about anything.

For the folks willing to hear you out, or even those interested in your story, having a fresh meteorite to show, being able to effectively articulate details of the fall and why it’s important for recoveries to be made can go a long way to possibly getting you land walk access. I have found some of the most positive outreach I have done has been while on the hunt, being able to give out micros to kids and others who take interest and decide to investigate what I am up to.

If you happen to be wandering up and down roads don’t be surprised either if you catch enough local interest that law enforcement might pay you a stop even though you have done nothing wrong. Once again, having the social skills and being able to articulate what you are doing there goes a long way towards having a positive outcome.

The ease of access to sharable information has also been a major game changer towards success in hunting. With some of the greatest network coverage and prevalent use of social media and direct messaging, the fact of a huntable bolide spreads more quickly than ever before. Looking back, in 1998, 36 percent of US households had a cell phone; key in on that being households, not individuals. The spread of information on a meteorite fall back then would have been via phone, mail, and email, along with good old fashion news print and radio. Coordinates of finds would have been determined by using back azimuths to reference points on the ground and plotting the position on a paper map to get grid coordinates. GPS till the turn of the century, was really a military application, civilian GPS units cost around $3,000 and had limitations put on accuracy.

Today’s smartphones give access to GPS, allow for highly detailed and immediate photo and video documentation, and let you pin find coordinates and details in map applications. All of this information, unless you are in a very remote environment, can then be shared to targeted groups in direct messages or out to the masses on social media platforms. This allows the folks evolving strewn field maps to more quickly develop a better concept of where to continue the hunt. It also allows more data rich communication within the strewn field between individuals.

Live streaming over social media has allowed hunters to bring folks along on the hunt with them from around the world, giving virtual access to the strewn field to folks who would never be able to make it experience the hunt live and be witness to finds as they are happening. The increase in digital ability to document a find also goes a long way to having interesting provenance to go along with a piece.

Easy communication has also made coordinated logistics more common, and that improves the chances of recoveries. By eliminating unnecessary costs to individuals via shared resources, hunters can often extend the amount of time they can spend in the strewn field. I have personally diverted while on route to a location to pick up other hunters at airports, thus eliminating the need for extra rental car costs and time spent managing logistics. Likewise, by teaming up and hunting together, areas can be hunted more efficiently. Couple team hunting with “find-splitting”, sharing material found between hunters on a team, lessens the chance each individual hunter has of going home empty handed.

After walking countless miles, beating through thorn bushes, and swiping the hundredth spider web off your face, it is nice to be able to find a good meal at a place that does not have questionable reviews without having to consult the front desk staff at the local hotel. It is even better to hit that local restaurant or bar with company. Some of my most memorable moments in the strewn fields have not been finds, because let’s be honest … not all hunts turn up stones … but the camaraderie with friends old and new from other parts of the country who are sharing the experience in the field.

 

The Junction City Fall Details

Junction City was a meteorite finder’s type of fall. It caught interest in the hunting community by showing up on meteorite enthusiasts’ All Sky camera. That bypassed the typical two routes of catching meteorite hunters interests: The first being a posting of a fireball on social media by a non-meteorite interested person or outlet catching the eye of a meteorite enthusiast, the second being waiting for a promising log in American Fireball Network (this is event log 6491-2022 with 65 witnesses and 4 videos of the bolide by the way) to trigger some further investigation of available data.

With direct camera footage, investigation into available data such as radar returns and assessment of magnitude, speed, breakup, and the other things on videos that hunters like to contemplate when deciding if there may be rocks on the ground, happened quickly. The bolide showed up 4 minutes after midnight Eastern Standard Time on 26 September, 2022, and the first find occurred the next day, 27 September. First find photos posted to Facebook from the field is how most folks who hunted found out about the fall, with rocks already in hand. The race was then on for the second wave hunters to get to the field. As of the date of this writing (October 31st 2022) nine individual stones have been found and including all the fragments off the road smasher a total of 1.971 Kg has been recovered.


***Special thanks to Michael Doran and Ari Machiz for editorial review, and Pat Branch for a majority of the table data. Photos are credited to the submitter by initials.

 


Hunter: Pat Branch

How many hunts have you been on? Dozens and dozens over 15 years.

Was this your first successful hunt? No, I found some on old finds and Salt Lake was my 1st successful fresh fall. This was my most successful hunt though.

How did you find your pieces, and how did you feel when you realized you had found a meteorite? I found three stones, all visually. The first was the most amazing. I just arrived into the fall zone area and just started a drive down the road looking for the obvious stone on the road or close by the side. It was still dark as the sun had not come up yet and my headlights hit a smashed rock in the opposite lane from me. It was pretty obvious without even picking it up. The gray inside with fragments around that had black crust and I knew we had a confirmed fall. I picked up the biggest piece which was still in the dent in the road and scooped up many larger fragments that had been spread by cars. I did not do a thorough cleanup of the road at the time, figuring it would be easier later on when it was light out. I then continued to drive the roads in my fall zone.

What was one unique thing about this hunt vs the others you have been on? The most important thing was, I was the first to know that there were rocks on the ground and the first to the fall zone. By the evening of the 26th I had radar hits I was convinced were rocks in the air. I told Mike Hankey of the AMS that there was rocks on the ground in GA and I was heading there. I told fellow camera owner and Georgia resident Ed Albin where the fall zone was. I also told close by hunter Carl Dietrich.

What do you love the most about the pieces you found on this fall? I love that I found the first one and get to do the Meteorite Bulletin thing and have my name associated with the fall forever. I love that first find, which turned out to be over 670 grams total left an imprint in the road which will be a forever reminder to the locals.

Do you feel your emotional state on making a find has changed over time and if so how has it changed? I am excited every time a make a find. I have only found a handful in my lifetime, so it still excites me and amazes me that it was in space days ago.

What were a few of your most memorable non-find moments from this hunt? Getting invited to stay with the largest property owner. The Buckners were very friendly in contrast to many other locals that were very standoffish. They own much of the land under the radar hits. They are very much into history and artifacts and host a festival showcasing their many antiques every year. The patriarch, Mike cut the dent out of the road and has kept it as part of his large collection.

Any info related to the technology or social aspects of the hunt I missed you would like to highlight for the readers? One of the things I look for to see if an AMS reported event is a dropper is the seismic station data. It turned out to be a key in this fall. Often people go straight to radar and that is the easy data. But both the AMS and NASA solutions were over 20 miles from the fall zone so you might miss the radar hits. I looked at sonics and had good strong reports that put the fall zone just to the east of Junction City. So when I looked at radar I was only looking at a smaller area and was not confused with other clutter.

 

 


Hunter: Carl Dietrich

How many hunts have you been on? Fresh falls? Cranfield and this one. Also Bishopville and Cordova, plus quite a few fireballs where I’ve found nothing.

Was this your first successful hunt? No Cranfield was, but not anything like this one.

How did you find your pieces, and how did you feel when you realized you had found a meteorite? Pat and I had been trudging through dense forest, I had started complaining because Ed was sending us pictures of fragments found by himself and Mr. Buckner (a very kind fellow who owns a lot of the land nearby and runs the Patsiliga Museum), and I wanted to get back to collect more fragments before all the other hunters got to town.

So we started walking back to the impact pit on the road, covering opposite sides. I was a little antsy so I was moving pretty quickly, making sure to scan as best I could manage. Sitting right on the edge of the tree-line, on top of pine straw was my first individual find (the 219g). The contrast of the interior and the fresh fusion crust is unmistakable after you learn to spot it. I instantly grabbed it and started yelling to Pat and jumping up and down with my dog Piper. Knowing it was in space just 2-3 days prior and being the first person to see/hold it is absolutely incredible.

What do you love the most about the pieces you found on this fall? I love that I can see the 219g in perpetuity at the Tellus Science Museum alongside a lot of other fantastic Georgia meteorites, including the Cartersville hammer stone.

Do you feel your emotional state on making a find has changed over time and if so, how has it changed? No, I’m still just as giddy and excited every time. I usually start yelling and screaming.

What were a few of your most memorable non-find moments from this hunt? A cow road block, getting to meet Mr. Buckner, breaking down and getting my car towed, being stuck here for a week and a half, there’s definitely been a lot of them.

Any info related to the technology or social aspects of the hunt I missed you would like to highlight for the readers? My eyes were handier for hunting than any other techniques employed, rivaled by a magnet stick, but only for micros.

 


Hunter: Roberto Vargas

How many hunts have you been on? Junction City was my 10th, in-person, hunt.

Was this your first successful hunt? No

How did you find your pieces, and how did you feel when you realized you had found a meteorite? I had been in Junction City for about 15 minutes when I found my first stone. As I got to the strewn field, I ran into Steve Arnold (Meteorite Men) and his friend, Lance. They were searching the far end of the strewn field and at that point no finds had been found that far southeast. I had been walking for about 10 minutes when I realized I did not have my cell phone, so I decided to turn back. As I was heading back, I spotted the stone. It was unmistakable. The fusion crust and fresh interior were in stark contrast with red dirt in the ditch that ran along the side of Matthew Rd.

What was one unique thing about this hunt vs the others you have been on? I think one of the most unique parts of this hunt was how many larger pieces were found near the road. There was a larger stone that hit the road, but then there were fragmented pieces, hundreds of feet away, in some cases. Originally, the thought was that these fragments were part of the stone that impacted the road. However, I think it is more likely that some of these larger fragments were part of a second or third stone that impacted the road and possibly trees on their way down.

What do you love the most about the pieces you found on this fall and do you feel your emotional state on making a find has changed over time? if so how has it changed?

I love my personal find the most. I kind of actually feel like this was my first find. I found pieces in Cranfield, but they were part of a stone that also hit the road, and Matt Stream actually found the first piece of that stone. This felt different because it was an individual, and not a fragment of a stone that was previously discovered by someone else. It was an awesome experience.

What were a few of your most memorable non-find moments from this hunt? I enjoyed the spirit of camaraderie among the hunters. It was also really cool getting to hang out for lunch at “Big Chick”, which happened to be the only restaurant within a 15-20 mile radius from the strewn field.

Any info related to the technology or social aspects of the hunt I missed you would like to highlight for the readers? I think a unique aspect of this hunt was how many people were willing to team up and share finds.

 


Hunter: Matthew Stream

How many hunts have you been on? I have been on at least 20 different meteorite hunts, most of them were cold hunts, and old falls. I’ve been on about five new fall hunts.

Was this your first successful hunt? No, I was successful in Cranfield Mississippi having found the road smasher.

How did you find your pieces, and how did you feel when you realized you had found a meteorite? The first stone I found was found using my eyes and a magnet stick together. The brush and plans made it very difficult to spot, but I saw a solid object and nice shape and I touched it with my magnet stick. The magnet stuck to it and pulled it over. My heart skipped a beat with excitement, I knew right away it was a meteorite. I immediately flipped it back to its original position and documented its position with video, in situ photos, and GPS coordinates. I then called Mark Lyon and the rest of the team I was hunting with that day and they all came to my position and got to see where I found it and enjoy the victory!

The second stone I found with my fiancé, Luisa Contreras, and I spotted it visually laying on the grass, with shimmering blue fusion crust. We had gotten permission from Greg Rigsby to search his property and that is where we found the 231 gram stone.

The fragments I found from the road smasher were mostly found using a magnet stick, I did find a 2.5 gram and 1.3 gram fragment visually… with a total of about 15 grams found.

What was one unique thing about this hunt vs the others you have been on? The locals were very persistent about warning us about rattlesnakes and other poisonous snakes. Luisa and I got to hunt a large field on Greg Rigsby’s property with his pet donkey “DC”, he followed us around the entire field and even grabbed my backpack with his teeth and pulled me backwards for a minute.

What do you love the most about the pieces you found on this fall and do you feel your emotional state on making a find has changed over time? if so how has it changed? Both the pieces I found had a slight blue iridescence to the fusion crust, and unique beautiful shapes to them.

I love when there is a road smasher, it gives everyone a chance to find fragments, and it almost becomes the meeting point for everyone. It’s so fun to try and find broken fragments spread about the road and brush.

It’s a special feeling for me every time, it’s a euphoric feeling I can’t describe… it’s spiritual to me and it almost gets more exciting every new find!

What were a few of your most memorable non-find moments from this hunt? One of the coolest moments was watching Mr. Buckner cut the impacted road out with a saw and repave the road immediately afterwards.

The most special thing for me was finding a beautiful individual with my fiancé, it was her first time meteorite hunting and we found it our first day hunting. It’s also very special to hang with other meteorite enthusiasts, meet the locals, and enjoy the local food.

 


Hunter Michael Kelly:

How many hunts have you been on? This was my forth fresh fall hunt, in addition to those fresh falls I have hunted about a half dozen other old falls sites and Dense Collection Areas like western dry lake beds.

Was this your first successful hunt? This was my second successful hunt, the first one being Cranfield Mississippi earlier in the year.

How did you find your pieces and how did you feel when you realized you had found a meteorite? I found my first pieces by magnet searching around the hammer stone location. So many folks had walked around the location, that fragment had actually been compacted into the soil, by aggressively breaking up the top layer and running the magnet through it I was able to find several nicely crusted fragments. The biggest piece I found turned up while doing a visual search into the brush along the wood line on the west side of the road. I felt ecstatic when I found my piece, but since we were all grouped together when Derek found his 13 gram piece I would say my overall change in excitement was less as I was already excited and happy about that find.

What was one unique thing about this hunt vs the others you have been on? This was the first hunt where I did a fair amount of coordinating ahead of going to the field, I had originally planned to go hunt it alone. Every other hunt I have gone on, I have run into many others in the field, but for the most part, only searched with one or two other folks at a time. This time we had a group that maxed out at seven people so it was really nice to have a lot of extra socializing this go around.

What do you love the most about the pieces you found on this fall? The frothiness on the crust of this fall is amazing. I had the opportunity to make a thin section ahead of getting out and being able to hunt this fall. The chip for that thin section happened to have the tiniest bit of crust on it. Seeing how amazing the crust was in thin section made me want a nicely crusted personal find. Turns out the best piece I found happened to be from the area where the crust transitions from side smooth crust to back side frothy crust which I am very happy about.

Do you feel your emotional state on making a find has changed over time and if so how has it changed? This is only the third really cool visual find I have made. The previous meteorite, and a Bediasite find, I was so excited I impulsively grabbed the piece even though I had a well laid out plan in my mind to drop a scale cube, take pictures, etc. This time though still really excited I was glad to have my wits about me and get a few good in situ shots and enjoy the piece where it lay for a while before picking it up and giving it a good look over and weight check.

What were a few of your most memorable non-find moments from this hunt? I really enjoy talking to folks who are not into meteorites and take up an interest on an impromptu conversation. During the first few hours on site, an elderly local pulled up on the side of the road to ask us what we were doing. After giving her a brief explanation of the fact a meteorite had landed in the road and scattered fragments everywhere, she looked at me and without batting an eye said something to the effect of “bull**** I don’t believe something like that would happen here”. After a good chuckle I showed her the few fragments I had found by that point, and gave her one to remember the time a meteorite fell by her town.

Another memorable moment for me was making an unplanned donation on the second hunting day. I inadvertently donated (lost) a relatively nice micro to the strewn field that day. This is one of those scenarios where you have to get over being mad at yourself and just move on. After coming out of a particularly thorny part of the woods, a family on a utility vehicle came by and stopped to talk. They were familiar with the fall, had talked to previous hunters, and had already let other search their property. I asked them if they had done any searching and explained how fragments could be recovered with a strong magnet by the road site. When they replied they had not gotten any I went and separated out a few fragments for the kids. While fishing through my material I managed to drop the second-best crusted fragment I had found the day before. Not a terribly huge loss, but considering we were focused that day on looking for nice individuals in the woods, I had less on hand personally at the end of the second day than the day before. A small mistake to learn from, sort and prepackage giveaways in a controlled area so you don’t have to do it in the field. The one that got away will be something I always remember.

My final memorable moment was getting to cast the impact depression left by the first find stone. Since seeing the first photo of the spot where the stone hit, I knew that the mark should be preserved as ephemera from the fall. I reached out and discussed the idea with the hunters on site, but the location is not exactly near a place that has the sort of supplies needed to get the job done right. During the 16 hour drive I stopped and gathered up all the proper materials to make a silicone impression. It felt really rewarding to make available to collectors who got hammer fragments a very detailed recreation of the impact along with being able to donate one to the Tellus Science Museum to go along with their acquisition of the 219 gram individual stone.

 


Hunter: Ari Machiz

How many hunts have you been on? One

Was this your first successful hunt? Yes

How did you find your piece(s) (visual or magnet), and how did you feel when you realized you had found a meteorite? It was kind of both visual and a magnet find. The stone was only 4.2 grams and looked very much like the other rocks on a sandy patch of ground. I was poking my magnet at each rock and one stuck.

I was so surprised, but I was really happy. There were several of us taking a break and just talking, so when I found it, all of us including me had already been standing where we were for a little while. It was nice to have everyone there. I just told everyone, “I just found one!”
What do you love the most is it about the piece you found that you love the most on this fall? It was my first find, so it will always be special in that regard.

What were a few of your most memorable non-find moments from this hunt? I was really happy to meet Matthew Stream. He has been my mentor to this point, so that meant a lot to me. I also met Steve Arnold from the Meteorite Men. Because my wife found some material, Steve looked in the area and I got to hunt with him. I have to admit I got a kick out of that. Lastly, hunting with my wife was amazing. There’s no way to explain how it brought out the best in her during the good and the difficult moments of the hunt. She was such a joy.

 

 


Hunters: Raymond Borges and Ily Valenzuela

How many hunts have you been on? USA 5 recent falls Osceola second fall, Indian Butte, Cranfield, Salt Lake City and Junction City, internationally, 2 recent falls Costa Rica and Brazil. Other hunts: Holbrook, and Wilcox Playa AZ.

Was this your first successful hunt? No, Aguas Zarcas, Costa Rica massively for direct purchases over 500g and some scarce finds totaling less than 1g in micros.

How did you find your pieces, and how did you feel when you realized you had found a meteorite? For the Junction City fall we tried hunting with several new methods including a neodymium rod measuring about 1 meter in length dragged behind an electric bike around the road where the main impactor hit as well as forest hunting. We also walked private property we acquired permission to hunt in.

What was one unique thing about this hunt vs the others you have been on? One unique thing about this fall was the proximity to our home as this was the nearest to where we live (~5-hour drive) and allowed us to return frequently spending 3 to 4 days per week hunting since the fall. Despite the time and effort, we have only found one large fragment ourselves. We also teamed up with Derik Bowers for two weeks, a well-seasoned hunter, collector and dealer. I’ve learned a good deal by watching others including Derik on this hunt. One weekend we also teamed up with Carl Dietrich. Towards the end of one of the latest trips Carl’s Jeep mechanically failed and was towed and so we hunted together in our car and Carl ended up find a piece no more than 15 feet from where we parked the car locating the Easternmost individual of the fall found to date, a 6.9g individual with 70 to 80% crust exhibiting one broken side.

What do you love the most about the pieces you found on this fall? The freshness of the pieces. So far it has only rained once, to our knowledge, in Junction City and luckily the piece we collected was sitting atop some vegetation and under trees which provided good coverage.

Do you feel your emotional state on making a find has changed over time and if so, how has it changed? The biggest change is that now finds are expected rather than a surprise. I can leave the piece in place while we take in situ pictures. This hunt has been the one with the most time spent searching.

What were a few of your most memorable non-find moments from this hunt? Pulling up on a road which was miles farther than anyone had searched the strewn field Eastward and having Carl make a new individual find no more than 15 feet from the car.

Any info related to the technology or social aspects of the hunt I missed you would like to highlight for the readers? Using a combination of drone scouting, good information sharing by Pat Branch and others greatly helped the success of this hunt. Pat has been key to success we think on this hunt, identifying Doppler hits early on and sharing them in a timely fashion to the meteorite community. If Pat had not shared this information many of the pieces would likely not have been found in a timely manner before the local deer hunting season began.

 


Hunters Rob and Sean Keeton:

How many hunts have you been on? I have been on a fair amount of hunts but this was Sean’s first hunt.

Was this your first successful hunt? This was my second successful hunt having found two nice pieces at Cranfield. For Sean it was indeed a first success.

How did you find your pieces? I spent most of the day on the 29th of September hunting several areas in the suspected strewn field. I ended up joining Carl Dietrich and he showed me where the road impact was. I hunted there for fragments and found approximately 3.1g, which consisted of two larger pieces and small crumbs. I only had the day down there, so I had to drive home that afternoon. I gave my son Sean one of the larger fragments for his collection, gave one of the smaller pieces to a fellow in Oklahoma, and kept the rest for my collection.

What was one unique thing about this hunt vs the others you have been on? Sean kept pestering me to go hunt and I decided to take him down for a day on 3 October. This was his first real hunt in a known fresh strewn field and he was super excited. We hunted different parts of the strewn field without success, but he did find approximately 0.5g of small fragments himself at the road impact site. It was awesome to be able to make that happen for him, getting to share this with my son was certainly unique.

What do you love the most about the pieces you found on this fall? Sean is really proud of his first ever find. At one point he said, “I think I’m ready to go [home], but I can’t stop looking!” I think that means he is hooked on meteorite hunting like me. Sean has been collecting for a couple of years and loves to see his own contribution to the collection, that’s probably the best part of these pieces.

What were a few of your most memorable non-find moments from this hunt? I was pleasantly surprised with how many new faces I saw in the strewn field. I was also amazed with how the road smasher left such a distinct impression in the pavement.

 


Hunter Iliana:

How many hunts have you been on? This was my first.

Was this your first successful hunt? Yes

How did you find your pieces, and how did you feel when you realized you had found a meteorite? I found my pieces by magnet and I didn’t know what they would look until I found one. It was the best. Adrenaline runs through your body. It brings you back to when you were a kid. It is joy and a relief. When you (Ari) paid for that teeny tiny piece, I really prayed I would find one. It is a thrill to find one. It’s like we were huge adult kids. You lose your problems. Your problems are finding the meteorites, but it is a fun problem to have. It was also fun looking as a group walking together to look in a certain area.

What is it about the pieces you found that you love the most on this fall? I like the raw stone as it was cut by nature, and I love the crust. I love the little round one because it looks like a whole piece. The third one was so good because I found it at the end of the day and it was a good way to end. It was nice to find a piece that was shared with the group.

What were a few of your most memorable non-find moments from this hunt? The comradery and the excitement any time someone found something. I love when Lance found his. He told Steve Arnold to turn off the blower because he found one. It was the 120+ gram piece. That was fun.

Any info related to the technology or social aspects of the hunt I missed you would like to highlight for the readers? Nothing further.

 


Pat Branch with the current main mass (419g). PC MS

 


Close up of the 419g stone, PC RV

 


Carl and Piper and their 219g stone. PC MS

 


Luisa and “DC” on the hunt. PC MS

 


Close up look at the 228g stone. PC MS

 


Raymond with his 88.8g fragment. PC RB

 


Ily, Raymond, and Luisa with the rolling magnet. PC RB

 


Sean Keeton on the hunt. PC RK

 


Rob and Sean sharing a day in the strewn field. PC RK

 


Derik Bowers immediately after finding a nicely crusted 13g fragment. PC MK

 


Roberto Vargas after finding the 4th individual. PC RV

 


A cast of the impact impression heading off to its new home. PC MK

 


Nice frothy crust on the 121.6g stone. PC CD

 


A nice look inside a thin section with opaque metal grains. PC MK

 


Roberto Vargas, Michael Kelly, Derik Bowers, Ari and Iliana Machiz, and Cameron and Jodi Smith after a long day hunting together. PC MK

 


The 6.9g individual expanding the “small end” of the strewn field. PC CD

 


Matt Stream with his first find of this fall 161g. PC MS

 


Closeup of the 161g stone. PC MS

 


Ari and Iliana Machiz with one of Iliana’s nice fragments. PC SA
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