[meteorite-list] A short thesis on weathered NWA's and other thread killers

From: Mike Miller <meteoritefinder_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2007 10:04:33 -0700
Message-ID: <468bf6050703181004w4c290e43i1a1f4ce44cb1abe8_at_mail.gmail.com>

Hi Dave and list, I have done a LOT of hunting with a metal detector
for meteorites. There is only one way to even come close to getting
the easy one and that is dig every signal out and put it in your bag,
then take it home. Don't throw it away, months or years later we learn
something that makes a new and different light bulb come on in our
head. If the new possibility is in a box in your garage or in a rock
garden in your back yard you can go dig it out and test your newly
realized possible way to identify a sample. If you simply decide the
target or suspect object is not what you are looking for and walk
away. Your mind will file a complaint deep inside your not quite big
enough brain. Then months or years later the bulb will suddenly turn
on in your head and you will realize that you have probably left
something behind that you should have known to bring back with you.
Now for the bad news that spot or those places that you are sure you
can walk right back to and find again are MUCH harder to find than you
thought. That small ridge with the big tree, turns into well maybe it
is that ridge...or well no..perhaps it was that tree. Before you know
it you realize you don't really know where the place is and you may
never find it again. I have a couple signals left in the woods that I
think could be worth ...maybe 100k I have tried to go back and make
sure they are not what I think they could be. So far I haven't found
them. So NOW I know to dig when the detector say .."I think you should
dig here" In other words if there is something that makes me even
wonder what is down there I just dig until I am 100% sure I will not
find what I am looking for if I keep digging. If it is a suspect rock
I just throw it in my bag, that way I can find it later to test any
new idea or new theory.
So far my new theories or tests to identify a new rock have not turned
up a new meteorite in my yard but they have saved me many wasted days
in the field looking for little clinkers on that one hill by the big
In the beginning of this e mail I mentioned this as a way to find the
easy one. The easy one is the one that actually has something that can
identify it as a meteorite. Fusion crust, metal, chondrules, something
that will identify it eventually. There are many known meteorites that
I can promise you we can pick it up and be 100% sure it is not a
meteorite and throw it back on the ground and walk away. The light
bulb will never go off because those few have no evidence that we can
use to identify them,without cutting them and looking in a
microscope..but then why the heck would we ever even bring those home.
I guess years from now I will remember seeing some of those really
UNusual impossible to identify meteorites laying on that ridge with
that really big tree on it and I will be back out there looking for
them again.

On 3/18/07, Dave Freeman mjwy <dfreeman at fascination.com> wrote:
> Dear List;
> I just received a hundred grams of some very weathered NWA's, at first I
> was not even sure they were meteorites at all. Mild attraction to a
> magnet but other than that, not a drop of crust, they looked like
> crumbled red to tan clay bricks that should have been thrown out in the
> driveway. I cut off a corner of each and sure enough, iron specks in
> prime condition and quite hard on the interior.
> Now, I recall seeing these deteoritated red bricks at a few indian
> campsites in past years and the detector buzzing on them. At the time I
> thought there was an iron factor caused by heating sandstone that had
> some iron in it.
> Back then, I was memorizing fusion crust in my brain....I suspect that
> not all about meteorites is fusion crust, and as a cold hunter, that
> maybe I have made way too much to do about fusion crust. Fresh fusion
> crust is a wonderful thing but I am seriously thinking I may have done a
> great injustice to my hunting efforts by not studying the most weathered
> clinkers as those may be much more common than meteorites with good
> crust, or even meteorites with ANY crust.
> I was quite surprised and actually amazed to discover that really
> weathered H-4-5's look so much like wasted brick.
> I suspect that I have seen a number of severely weathered meteorites and
> passed them up due to the fact that they weren't round at all, had no
> crust, had no visible chondrules, and if not for a mild attraction to a
> magnet, and the detector noting SOMETHING that I would have not even
> remembered the where abouts or even the occurrence. I couldn't even call
> these subjects rusty rocks even. Clinkers is a good word except for real
> clinkers tend to be vesicular for the most part.
> Thoughts?
> Dave F.
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Mike Miller Po Box 314 Gerber Ca 96035
Received on Sun 18 Mar 2007 01:04:33 PM PDT

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