Ash Creek Expedition: 6.7g Meteorite Find!

West Texas: 6.7g Meteorite
In-Situ Ash Creek meteorite from West, Texas: 6.7g. Scale cube on ground.

Hunting meteorites is rarely an easy task. Here is a diary of Eric Wichman’s trials and tribulations over the course of Feb. 21 to 24, 2009 hunting the Ash Creek meteorite fall in the area around the city of Ash Creek, TX.

In a small town North of Waco, Texas, scientists from the University of North Texas and some lucky meteorite meteorite hunters found meteorites from the Feb. 15 fireball in the sky. There was a giant explosion that sent one local farmer scrambling for cover under his barn after he witnessed the explosion and the break up of the meteor. Seconds later it started raining stones down on his fields and he had to run to his barn to escape the extraterrestrial bombardment. He reported that he could hear the stones pelting the ground and roof of his barn where he was taking shelter (as reported by Michael Farmer to the Met-List, note: I’m trying to find this reference with no luck).

Here is Eric’s story, in his own words:

Feb 21: Day 0 and sick with a cold after planning the trip and raising funds for expedition. Trip postponed for 24 hrs.

Feb 22:Day 1, 10:00 am and started out for Texas. Driving non-stop from San Diego, CA. Google maps said 19hrs 48mins. They lied! lol ;-)

Feb 23: Day 2, after driving 1200 miles straight without rest, we stopped at 5:30 am local time in a rest area just outside Abilene, TX and napped for about 3 hours. We woke up about 9:00 am and continued on toward West, TX . We arrived in West at about 1:30 pm local time. We did some quick preliminary searching in a predefined search area and then check in to our cabin at the local KOA campground. We could have stayed in a hotel in Waco but liked the idea of being closer to the strewnfield.

Around 3 pm we arrived at the spot where the first meteorite was located. We, of course, searched the area again hoping something might have been missed … lol – Fat chance. Professional hunters had been through here and had no less than 7 days to search this area thoroughly.

We met up with Ruben Garcia and Mike Miller and after showing us their new finds and and speaking with a local landowner they were off. We hunted a local field with permission from the landowner until dark with no finds and called it a day.

Feb 24th: Day 3 and up early 5am … Hunting …

Feb 25th: Day 4 and my first meteorite found! After much researching, searching, collaborating, driving, and some luck, ten days after a meteorite fell to Earth in West, Texas, I found my first piece of Ash Creek! It’s a nice little fragment of this beautiful chondrite. Gorgeously fresh fusion crust and a spectacular whitish gray matrix

Here are a few additional photos:

6.7g West Texas Meteorite
6.7g Ash Creek Meteorite
6.7g West Texas Meteorite
6.7g Ash Creek Meteorite
6.7g West Texas Meteorite
6.7g Ash Creek Meteorite
6.7g Ash Creek Meteorite

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