[meteorite-list] MORE ON KALAHARI 008 - 009

From: Sterling K. Webb <sterling_k_webb_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2007 22:46:27 -0500
Message-ID: <15ec01c77beb$fc6b7420$0e2f4842_at_ATARIENGINE>


On August 10, 2005, Jeff Grossman posted:
"When this meteorite came to my attention as a member of the NomCom,
warning bells went off in my head too. Enough evidence was presented to
us to convince us that these were meteorites, although I expected this not
to be the case, that we had to name them. But the find story is very odd.
My reading of it is this: somebody who knows nothing about meteorites is
driving his vehicle in the Kalahari. In a brushy area (based on satellite
imagery: get World Wind, then search the MetBull database for Kalahari
008/9 and click on the nasa link to see the place), he parks in front of a
sand dune and there he sees a rock: no fusion crust, probably very
nondescript looking, the size of a cantaloupe melon. Oh, he says, here's
something cool... a rock! I think I'll drag this 30 lb thing back home
with me. But first, I think I'll comb the area for more. Hmmm."

Then, later the same day, Norbert Claussen posted:
"Last but not least, I agree with Jeff Grossmann's notion that the find
is odd. Unconfirmed rumors have it that these lunaites were either found in
South Africa or in the neighboring Namibia (both countries with strict
meteorite laws), and that the "find location" in Botswana was just made up
for obvious reasons. However, these rumors aren't consistent with the fact
that the finder obviously isn't interested in selling any of his stuff - it
wouldn't make much sense to make up anything in this case... Anyway, the
story is strange, and it sounds improbable that a person who's not into
meteorites at all recovers a large lunaite, AND - having no idea of what he
has there - combs the place for additional fragments. That's really odd."

However, please note that the Bischoff paper says that "the other four
samples were recovered during geological field work in various areas
of Botswana." If the finder was doing "geological field work," this
suggests that the finder is a geologist, which is not an absolute
disqualifier for a knowledge of meteorites. Presumably, he is working
near Kuke because he's already acquired meteorites from there.

If it's an elaborate setup for the reasons Norbert suggested, it's
a damned good one. Try to prove otherwise... On the other hand,
if he's a geologist in the largest sandcovered area of the planet and
sees a large rock, ANY large rock, doesn't he check it?

Fred Olson said: "We did not see any igneous rocks in this area.
In fact there are not many rocks of any type in this area. If I remember
correctly it is part of the worlds largest body of sand. So any rock
would look odd and stand out."

But if you find a rock, you check it...

Sterling K. Webb
Received on Tue 10 Apr 2007 11:46:27 PM PDT

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