Meteorite Recon | Witnessed Falls
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Stone, chondrite, H5, S3, W0
Cochabamba, Bolivia
Fall: 2016 Nov 20, 17:57 local time
TKW: > 50 kg

Individual with Impact marks: 202.0 g

„A bright fireball appeared over Aiquile, Cochabamba district of Bolivia, on 20 November 2016, 17:57 local time (UTC-4). Stones fell in a strewn field of at least 12 × 2 km (northeasterly direction) in the following Aiquile communities: Tablamayu, Panamá, Chawar Mayu, Chaqo K’asa, Barbechos and Cruz Loma. The main bolide fragmentation occurred over the Tablamayu community, 12 km north of Aiquile. In the Cruz Loma community, C. Veizaga witnessed the fall of the largest stone (36.3 kg) about 500 m from him. He recovered the stone and in the following day the local Aiquile government (Luiz L. Arnez, Marco Cardona, Franz Navia, William Rodriguez, Jesus Yave) took the stone to the city museum. In the Panamá community, Roberto Soto witnessed the fall and recovered two other fragments (565 g, 2.2 kg). SERGEOMIN (Miguel A. Muriel, G. Villca, A. Perez), UMSA (Gonzalo Pereira), Brazil NM collaborators (Andre R. Moutinho, José M. Monzon) and S. Medina found additional fragments in the Panamá community. A. Moutinho found a 98 g fragment which was used for classification.

This is a pristine 202 g individual with well preserved impact marks. It was found the day after the fall on a hill slope in the Panamá community (specimen exported before November 29).


Stone, chondrite, H5, S2, W0
Hodh, Ech Chargui, Mauritania
Fall: October 16, 2006,  04.00 hrs
TKW: 93.85 kg

Individual: 1,304.40 g

„A fireball was witnessed in the area, but no records of the direction of movement were recorded. A single stone of 3,165 g was found by A. Salem El Moichine, a local resident, on the same day at 13:00 hrs local time. The sample for classification was provided to NMBE by M. Ould Mounir, Nouakchott, who obtained it from his cousin who recovered the meteorite. According to S. Buhl (Hamburg, Germany), more than 20 specimens were later recovered by locals and meteorite finders. These finds define a 8 km long strewnfield. The total recovered mass is 46.00 kg“ (Meteoritical Bulletin, no. 92), although additional specimens were found subsequently, bringing the TKW to at least 93 kg. This is a pristine brick-shaped individual with 100 percent fusion crust, distinct flowlines and impact marks.


Stone, chondrite, LL6, W0

Sulagiri, Krishnagiri District, Tamil Nadu, India

Fall: 12 September 12, 2008; 08:30 h (Indian Standard Time) (UT+5.5)

TKW: 110 kg

Individual 394 g

Friday morning, September 12, at 0830 hrs a brilliant orange light appeared at 70° in the north-northwestern sky above the sleepy Hosur Taluk in the Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu, India. The light flashed for an instant, turned darker and followed by a train of thick black smoke several fiery tongues radiated down towards the ground, as if an irate deity had spit fire from the skies of Krishnagiri.


Only seconds later the villages of Attakuruki, Ullukurukki and Kamanadody became the ground zero of a tremendous blow as several meteorites, each consisting of a few kilos of extraterrestrial rock, slammed into roads and fields. The rural countryside echoed with thunderous explosions as shockwaves from atmospherical explosions rattled houses and dwellings in their foundations.


This is the text from the write up in the Meteoritical Bulletin 96:


History: On September 12, 2008, around 08.30 h, a meteorite fell from the NW sky and was observed by several people of villages closely located around the town of Sulagiri. A screeching noise was heard coming from the north and a bang was heard subsequently by some eye witnesses. The meteorite fragmented at least once in transit, which led to multiple falls around a cluster of villages, defining an elliptical strewn field measuring 3 km along the NW-SE direction and 1 km across. The sizes of the meteorites increase from W to E.

Seven pieces were retrieved and field data were collected (V. Krishnan and K. Nagarajan, GSI). Three pieces from Adda Gurikki village (12°41′00′′N, 77°57′10′′E), weighing a total of 50 kg (13 kg, 11 kg, and 26 kg), two pieces from Rautapalli village (12°41.53′N, 77°56.67′E), weighing 45 kg (29 kg and 16 kg) and one piece each from Gangapuram (12°41.32′N, 77°55.53′′E) and Addagurikki Kottur (12°41.46′′N, 77°56.88′E), 6 kg each, were recovered. The total mass of the fall is more than 110 kg, the largest reported fall in the Indian subcontinent. The meteorite samples are fresh, light gray colored on broken surfaces and covered by thin, light brownish to dark colored fusion crust on partly broken to complete faces.


Stone, chondrite, L6, S6, W0
Tiris Zemmour, Mauritania
Fall: December 16, 2012
TKW: 6 kg
Individual 104.0 g

“History: According to Ait Hiba Abdelhadi, a fireball was seen in the afternoon sky on December 16, 2012, several school children saw the fireball explode and detonations were heard near the village of Mehaires, Western Sahara. Pieces were recovered approximately 40 miles south of Mehaires, near Mreïra, Mauritania, only a few days after the event. The strewn field is in the area called “Stailt Omgrain”, which is a local nomadic name. This is south of Mehaires and north of the mountain “Galbe lahmar”. Therefore this is a possible fall associated with the fireball of December 16, 2012. A total of approximately 6 kg of freshly crusted stones were recovered.. “Meteoritical Bulletin 104.
This specimen is an exceptionally fresh, fully crusted wedge-shaped individual displaying small regmaglypts and streaks of red soil from its impact on the surface.

Izarzar (Beni Yacoub)

Stone, chondrite, H5, W0, shock: moderate

Tata, South Morocco
Probable Fall: 23 October 2012
TKW: 79 g

Individual 62.70 g (main mass)

On 23 October 2012, a bright fireball was witnessed over Beni Yacoub, near Tata and Taliounie, Morocco. Meteorites were found the day following the event. The strewnfield was searched over extensively, but the meteorite was extremely friable and the majority of the mass disintigrated mid-flight, leaving only small crusted fragments and loose chondrules to be found. This almost complete 62 g specimen is among the biggest pieces recovered. It is coated by very thin secondary fusion crust with individual hollows still visible in crust texture, indicating where chondrules became detached during ablation.


This is the text from the write up in the Meteoritical Bulletin 104:

History: (H. Chennaoui, FSAC). On 23 October 2012 at 00:30 GMT, people from the cities of Tata, Ighrem, Taghmout, and Faddouks in southern Morocco witnessed a large fireball illuminating the night sky. They saw the meteor fragmentation. Inhabitants from Izarzar and Beni Yacoub village reported to have been awaken by a thunder-like blast followed by a tremor. The fall was also reported by newspapers. A number of local hunters proceeded to the fall area and the first piece was discovered on October 30, broken apart after landing on rocks on Azaghzaf mountain, about 6 km SW of Izarzar. The first discovery was made by Mohamed Azeroual. Very few pieces have been reported. This fall is also known as “Beni Yacoub”. The concordance between the testimonies on the place of the fall and the real find of pieces in this area are consistant with the fact that this meteorite corresponds to the eyewitnessed fall. When the rock was found, powder of the meteorite was still adhering to the rock with which it collided.


Stone, chondrite, L5, S3, W0

Qinghai Province; China
Fall: November 2, 2012
TKW: 100 kg

Fragment 45.70 g

On February 11, 2012, at 13:30-14:00, the villagers of Xining heard a loud noise. Shortly thereafter villagers recovered around 10 stones in Huangzhong county, Xining city of Qinghai Province. Miao Buikui and Liu Xijun, GUT, heard the news of the fall and visited the fall site. The total weight of the fall is more than 100 kg. The largest meteorite is 17.3 kg and second is 12.5 kg. The two meteorites were bought from the villagers by meteorite lovers. The meteorite fall area is a ellipse including the villages of Baina, Small Sigou, Yehong, Heergai, and Baiya. The area is 20-30 km in length and 4-5 km in width oriented NNE, centered at 36°51’35.77″N, 101°25’33.70″E.

This collection specimen is a crusted fragment with Bob Haag provenance, showing a single black shock vein.


Stone, chondrite, L5, W0
Amana County, Iowa, USA
Fall: February 12, 1875
TKW: 225 kg

Fragment 86.11 g

“On the evening of Friday, February 12, 1875, at twenty minutes past ten o’clock, one of the most brilliant meteors, of modern times illuminated the entire State of Iowa, and adjacent parts of the States of Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The southeastern portion of Iowa was bright as day, while the great meteor, in descending to the earth, passed from Appanoose County to Iowa County. The meteor, in rapidly moving through the atmosphere, produced a great variety of sounds—rolling, rumbling, and detonations of fearful intensity—which in a large portion of Iowa County shook the houses as if moved by an earthquake.” The Great Iowa Meteor, Gustav Hinrichs, Popular Science Monthly ,Volume 7 September 1875.

This collection sample is a pristine fragment with six surfaces, four of which are coated with fresh fusion crust.

Norton County

Stone, achondrite, aubrite, AUB
Norton County, Kansas, USA
Fall: February 18, 1948, 04:00 p.m.
TKW: 1.1 MT

Fragment 19.50 g

Fragment from the Lincoln La Paz collection. At about 4 p.m. on February 18, 1948, hundreds of people witnessed a brilliant fireball in the clear afternoon skies above Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska. Several people heard loud explosions, followed by a roaring sound like the noise of a jet engine. In the smoke train behind the fireball, puffs of smoke appeared where the large meteorite that was streaking across the sky broke apart in smaller pieces. In the following days and months, hundreds of stones were recovered from a large area on the Kansas / Nebraska border, in Furnas County, Nebraska and Norton County, Kansas. The meteorite became known as the Norton County meteorite.

The 2nd collection specimen (B-23.1) is a fragment of 38.24 g. According to the then practised conservation method by the Institute of Meteoritics of the University of New Mexico, the curator coated the fragile Meteorite with clear laquer.

Collection specimen # B-23.2 is a pristine Fragment of 27.30 g, also from the University of New Mexico, and bears the original inventory number # N 533.

Indian Butte

Stone, chondrite, H5
Pinal County, Arizona, USA
Fall: June 7, 1998
TKW: 1712 g
Individual 45.10 g

Elongated fragment with four surfaces, three of which show well preserved fusion crust and a delicate pattern of contraction cracks. The fourth surface is a fragmented plane covered with caliche. Because the entry on Indian Butte in the Meteoritical Bulletin tells only half of the story, we quote the history of its discovery as provided by D. Gheesling on his website



A dramatic fireball was witnessed in Arizona, presumably terminating near Casa Grande – a name that the fireball would carry with it for some 15 years. Then-21-year-old Robert Ward immediately embarked upon a 30-day expedition, funded by his father (who is since deceased), to recover what would be his home state’s second witnessed fall. Ward interviewed countless witnesses, triangulated the termination point of the fireball, then put boots on the ground and hunted in earnest, yet ultimately in vain, for the strewn field. As would later be shown, he’d collected every necessary data point except for wind speeds at various altitudes, the impact of which upon meteorite distribution wasn’t yet fully understood in the meteorite community.

Ward had all but given up on ever recovering a stone from the Casa Grande fireball, but in 2012, he started discussing with me the possibility of soliciting the help of Marc Fries at Galactic Analytics in locating a radar return that might further pinpoint the fall. Given the success in recent years of Fries – who developed and eventually proved his hypothesis that weather radar might indicate the position of falling meteorites – it only made sense, so Ward reached out to Fries in confidence in early 2013, submitting the data he’d collected in 1998. Fries had unsuccessfully searched aerial data for Casa Grande before, but with the help of Ward’s data was finally able to locate the radar return (Ward had been referring to the “Casa Grande” event as “Stanfield” in private since 1998). Ward was ready to hunt as soon as his mother’s recent, then-terminal cancer diagnosis could be sorted out. The hunt had waited almost 15 years, and it could surely wait a little longer under the circumstances.

But while Galactic Analytics was analyzing and confirming the radar images located with Ward’s confidential data from 1998, the radar returns were somehow passed along by one of Fries’ colleagues to another meteorite hunting team, who subsequently and soon proudly announced the recovery of the first Indian Butte meteorite – to the astonishment of Ward, who had until then been unaware of the leak and was not so much as mentioned in the communique. While it was one of Ward’s earliest dreams in the meteorite arena to personally recover the first stone from this historic Arizona event, he was glad to know that his hard work had paid off and that the strewn field had finally been located.

On April 7, 2013, Ward found his first Indian Butte meteorite, and surely many more recoveries are yet to come for him in this strewn field that most likely would have been lost to history were it not for his hard work and determination. At the time of this writing, Mrs. Ward’s prognosis had dramatically and thankfully improved.


Stone, chondrite LL6, S3, W0
Jigawa, Kilabo, Nigeria
Fall: 2002, Juy 21, 19:30 hrs
TKW > 19 kg
Individual 69.10 g

“Mr. Mallam Yahava Muhammad of Hadejia, Nigeria, observed a brilliant fireball moving south to north. Two loud detonations were heard several minutes later. Mr. Mallam Audu and several neighbours in Kilabo heard the stone fall and later recovered it. The meteorite was found in the crater measuring 35 cm wide by 20 cm deep in sandy soil. The meteorite had fragmented on impact into many pieces, the largest of which was 2.2 kg.” (Meteoritical Bulletin N° 87). The pictured specimen is a partly crusted individual with primary secondary and tertiary fusion crust. Brecciation and the characteristic blue shock veins are visible on the non crusted surfaces. Fallfresh specimen recovered briefly after the fall.