[meteorite-list] San Juan Capistrano

From: jason utas <jasonutas_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2011 20:31:29 -0700
Message-ID: <BANLkTinikqyNRmb0KjwntojwoxLO4P4FBA_at_mail.gmail.com>

Hello Marc, Jim, All,

> SJC fell in a trailer park next to I-5, where the occupants were probably
> used to loud rumbling noises and didn't pay it much mind. ?And the rolling
> grassy hills are exactly what is under development - 172 acres of it.

Peter, my father, has thoroughly researched the fall.

Jack Scurlock (the man whose mobile home was hit) likely would never
have noticed or reported the meteorite on his own.

His neighbor, George Stinchcombe, heard a loud noise in the night
(presumably, the meteorite striking Scurlock's awning), and made a
point of mentioning it to his neighbor the next morning. The pair of
them noticed the hole and the black stone on the ground.

The notion that the stone might be a meteorite was suggested by
Stinchcombe, so it seems that a loud noise likely led to the stone's
recovery in the first place.

As to whether or not the freeway could have disguised any sonic booms,
I cannot say. A few days ago, when I paid the site a second visit
with my father, the construction at the adjacent Costco was all I
could hear. I did notice that the freeway was significantly elevated
with regards to the mobile home park, limiting the amount of noise it
created. I live in the middle of Los Angeles not far from a few major
roads, and I do hear constant noise in the form of traffic and typical
city chaos. A sonic boom would be very noticeable and out of the

I'm fully willing to admit that the fact that the fall doesn't seem to
have been accompanied by sonic effects does not rule out the
possibility that more than one stone fell; we seem to be arguing
different points. You're saying that more than one stone may have
fallen, and I'm saying that without observed sonic or visual effects,
it seems unlikely that much more fell.

I think we're sort of agreeing...except you think it's worthwhile to
hunt there, and I'd prefer more promising pastures.

> There's no guarantee that there are more SJC meteorites to be found, but if
> guarantees are what you're looking for then you've got the wrong hobby! The
> area to be developed is brushland that abuts the trailer park, and if anyone
> does want to find more SJC then its really the only option as everything
> else is paved.

Please don't try to educate me about hunting for meteorites. I've
spent many a day without success in the field, and have also recovered
my fair share of finds and falls.

The mobile home park in question lies in a flat-bottomed coastal
valley overlooked by housing developments, but there are thousands of
acres of unprotected scrub-land that is neither fenced nor posted on
either side of the valley.

I understand your concern; you're losing 172 acres of hunting ground.
I just fail to see why you're making a point of complaining when there
are still thousands of acres within a mile of the known stone's
recovery that are hunt-able.

> The development could be a blessing, if only the gomers in
> charge would give me the courtesy of returning my calls. ?They'll have to
> remove brush and disturb the soil, which would be a nice target for some
> metal detecting.

The open land in the region is, as you note, very brushy. We opted to
spend the next few days on the lake-beds instead of in SJC, because it
honestly looked like a waste of time. If the fall had happened
yesterday, I'd be fliering and hunting everywhere possible. Forty
years after the fact, when 80% of the find-site's surroundings have
been graded and resurfaced...eh. Maybe if the hills weren't covered
in thick brush.

If you're trying to say that you think it would be nice for the
company to let you onto their land after they've removed the
surface/brush, I think you've missed a few things. I've spoken at
length with employees at a few consulting firms about their jobs, and
safety and liability are top on their lists of concerns for employees
and anyone on active sites. In order to let you anywhere near an
active construction site, you would need to have paperwork filled out,
all on-site employees notified, liability waivers signed, etc -- it's
more trouble for them than you seem to realize.

> Anyways; it's out there if anyone is interested. ?My own Plan B is to
> contact individual homeowners in the new development, show them some
> meteorites, and tell them to keep an eye out.

Best of luck with that - if nothing else, some more people will have a
better understanding of their place in the universe, and that's always
a worthwhile endeavor.


On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 5:31 AM, Jim Wooddell <jimwooddell at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Jason!
> I just had to comment....
> When I hunt Franconia, I always wonder what could have been found
> where the train track, the freeway, and the housing development are
> now located!! ?One of my larger stones was found 75 yards from the
> freeway pavement and it's prime hunting area!
> I think Ruben found a 5 pound stone in the same area.
> In another area, prime for hunting, some yahoo took a tractor and it
> looks like they plowed an entire area up....probably covering up stuff
> from the construction of the freeway. ?I have found meteorites on both
> side of this plowed up area.
> So while the strewnfields are often huge, any development in them
> reduces the possibility of some good finds!
> It seems on this one in the list however, does not have a strewnfield.
> Cheers!
> Jim Wooddell
> http://desertsunburn.no-ip.org
> On Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 8:51 PM, jason utas <jasonutas at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hello All,
>> I've gotten the impression from the emails on the list that people
>> believe that this fall consisted of two separate stones. ?The fall
>> consisted of a single stone that fell without sonic effects or any
>> real witnesses; a neighbor recalled hearing a loud noise (when the
>> stone likely hit the awning that it penetrated), but, had it not been
>> for the astuteness of the homeowner whose property was damaged, the
>> fall would likely have gone unnoticed.
>> The fragment mentioned as having been found in a gutter a month later
>> was found in the gutter of the same awning that the main mass
>> penetrated, and most likely broke off of the main mass when it hit the
>> awning.
>> It would undoubtedly be worthwhile to look for other fragments in the
>> surrounding area, but we must put things in perspective. ?Since
>> strewn-fields are almost always miles in width, let alone length, the
>> fact that the relatively tiny development is being resurfaced seems
>> unimportant, at least to me. ?The area is bordered by rolling grassy
>> hills that are in no immediate danger of being developed.
>> - To say nothing of the fact that the illegal night-time hunting
>> for/of new Canyon Diablo specimens is apparently widely accepted by
>> our collecting community.
>> California's second witnessed fall was heralded by a witnessed, large,
>> fragmenting fireball; there's more of that to be found, for those who
>> have the time and are experienced backpackers...
>> Regards,
>> Jason
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Received on Sun 05 Jun 2011 11:31:29 PM PDT

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