[meteorite-list] Metal Fragment That Hit Illinois Home Not A Meteorite

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2007 08:19:10 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <200704051519.l35FJAg15089_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Metal fragment that hit home not a meteorite
By M.K. Guetersloh
Pantagraph (Illinois)
April 4, 2007

BLOOMINGTON -- The chunk of metal that crashed though a Bloomington
couple's home last month was not a meteorite but something man-made.

But Robert "Skip" Nelson, a professor of geology at Illinois State
University, said the theory may be just as unique as he pieces together
how the piece of metal made its way March 5 into David and Dee Riddle's
house at Partner Place.

Nelson said the metal object appears to have been ejected from a wood
grinder from Twin City Wood Recycling. "That's almost as amazing as it
being a meteorite," Nelson said.

The metal object is about the size of a deck of cards and weighs nearly
a pound. Because of its weight and the steep angle with which it hit the
house, Nelson initially thought it could have been a meteorite.

John Wollrab, owner of the recycling company, said he contacted
university scientists within days of learning about it.

"I had heard about it and thought it was interesting," Wollrab said. "It
was close to my business and we were outside that day running the
grinder so it made me wonder if it was something that came out of the

Wollrab let university professors studying the object come out to his
business to take measurements.

If it was ejected from the grinder, Nelson said, the chunk of metal
would have traveled about 300 meters, or roughly 900 feet.

"The force to push it that far would have been pretty great," Nelson said.

The speed the object was traveling when it crashed through the Riddles'
bedroom window and punched through a computer desk would have been "a
couple of hundred miles an hour," Nelson added.

Wollrab said he would be surprised if something could be ejected from
the machinery with enough force to travel that far. "I think it is still
speculation," Wollrab said.

Dee Riddle said she, too, is surprised by Nelson's theory.

"I just don't understand how that could have traveled that far," she said.

Nelson doesn't know where the metal came from. He said it did not come
from the machinery but may have been something mixed in with the wood.
Received on Thu 05 Apr 2007 11:19:10 AM PDT

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