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UK Meteorite Hunting

Hi List,

Inspired by all the tales of meteorite hunting you guys do over in the US, and
by the "Z" lights incident the other evening, I've been wondering how I could
go about tracking down some over here in the UK before I move to the States
before year's end... 

Of course, the problem is that the UK is a very small "target", surrounded by
a LOT of water, and quite a proportion of what land there is either covered in
forests or is totally exposed to the weather, and you all know how sh-    how
*bad* our weather is, right? (It's raining heavily as I write this, so hard
that if it doesn't let up soon I'm seriously considering building a big boat
and rounding up pairs of animals...) So anything older than a century or so
will be - literally - history now.

I have had an idea though, which I'd appreciate some advice or coments on..? I
live in a heavily farmed area, with a lot of ploughed fields, and I was
wondering if it would be worth asking local farmers if I could scour through
their rock piles in search of any meteorites they'd dug up during their
labours..? It seems like my best bet, to go through a concentration of rocks
rather than just walking around with my eyes on the ground waiting to stumble
across something. I don't own a metal detector (but to be honest using one of
those around here might be more bother than it's worth, there are lots of old
mines around here, and the fields are burial grounds for old farm and
agricultural machinery, and a lot of furnace slag is lying around), so it
would be a case of me sitting there on a rock pile, like a gnome, with my
trusty magnet and magnifier, checking out suspects... what are my chances?

Has anyone done something similar, with or without success? I'd be interested
to hear any UK or non-desert meteorite hunt stories. Feel free to mail me
privately if this is an old topic... 

I just feel like I should *try*, you know..?

Finally, on the aforementioned "Z" lights story... I spent a good deal of my
away-from-the-computer time yesterday (all two hours of it!) reassuring people
that no, it doesn't mean that death is going to rain from the sky at any
moment "like in that film" (which means "Deep Impact" as "Armageddonoutofhere"
hasn't opened here yet). Seriously though, this is the second UK fireball
report in a couple of months, and as I said we *are* a very small target...
coincidence? Or is there a precedent for such a nocturnal bombardment..? 

Best wishes to all,

Stuart A

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