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Barnstable   contributed by Stephen Amara, IMCA 7312   MetBul Link

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View all entries for   Meteorite (1)   Stephen Amara (11)

Copyright (c) Stephen Amara.

TKW 14.28 kg. Fall not observed. Found 18 August 2018, Massachusetts, US.


Stephen writes:
The Story!!!

Good evening everyone! I want to share with you the circumstances surrounding the Barnstable meteorite find in detail with you guys and gals because it’s exciting to share and possibly to learn. I’m a “meteorite hunter” from Massachusetts probably for close to 10 years, I put meteorite hunter in quotations because when I started I was ill equipped with knowledge, familiarity and tools to do so in any efficient way when I started and probably for many years after but I hunted non the less on a occasional bases up until a few years ago when I finally decide to settle down, educate myself on the topic and also purchase some meteorites as well to familiarize myself with meteorites!!!! Throughout this time period I accumulated many “meteorwrongs” and made many bothersome inquiries with busy scientists such as Randy Korotev about these stone I believed had potential but the reality had not set in till I did the homework and made some purchases.

So after many years of failure and dismay I finally armed myself with knowledge beyond streak tests and magnets. I purchased some meteorites and I dug deeply into google searching meteorites and familiarized myself with meteorwrongs thanks to Randy Korotevs website.

So on a sunny warm afternoon which I would typically be out on a hunt I decided to invite my wife and son to join me so they could explore the loop in the woods that I enjoyed to explore more recently. I brought my trek items, water, trail mix, my wife’s brand new backpack she brought back from Belarus, a heavy duty plastic bag lined the inside of my wife’s backpack to protect it from rocks that I collected along the way! So we hit the trail and I’m scouring the surface for anything dark and potentially special and a one point I picked up this rock which gained my attention. We were on the move so rather than analyze it deeply I put the rock inside the plastic bag within the backpack and moved on!!! I got home and removed the bag of rocks from the backpack and put it in the corner of the living room were it sat for like two weeks before I woke up one Sunday morning remembering I needed to take that rock out for a closer look. Oh boy was I in for a surprise, so I get the rock, clean it up with a brush soap and water and after it dried looked it over and my heart started to pump because I knew deep down I felt as though I found a meteorite but as time told me in the past with many wrongs I needed supportive evidence for this find.

Identifying characteristics were as followed from this first 1113g fragment based on observations and test I performed (the basics). It attracted a magnet, it appeared to have bits of fusion crust, broken surfaces appeared to have chondrules, one side appeared ripped, rippled and glazed over like secondary fusion crust with some frothy weathered crust intact on a couple edges I filed a window and it revealed a bunch of white chondrules(bleached/weathered) and a very few metallic specks. Before I knew Facebook had such a huge meteorite community I decided to share my find on my favorite forum nugget shooters for some peer review. To be honest it was bittersweet I posted like a ball of excitement with my favorite peers sharing a bunch of photos and evidence but met a ton of resistance except a few actual hunters supported me while most said it was just a ordinary rock.

At this point I knew I needed to get serious. It seemed as though this was a fragment of a much larger piece because of the width of the fractured margins compared to the shape. Unfortunately when I bagged this original 1113 gram fragment I didn’t make any notation of the location but remember the general vicinity so I return and after a vigorous search and finally recovered some small fragments!!!!

At the time I worked at a K-12 school with labs so I took the smaller fragments to the school to perform a basic density test, the fragment was a 18gram fragment and the meniscus bottom of the displacement was just a hair under the 6 ml which put the density at over 3 grams/cm3 (sorry wrong format). So at this put I had already started corespondents with Alan Rubin at UCLA after presenting photos and evidence he agreed that there was a good possibility I had found a meteorite and accepted a sample and considered the possibility of classification contingent upon appeal of the specimen. I purchased a beautiful saw and professional blade and sliced the 1113 gram fragment, it hurt my sole but I found a beautiful 107 gram slice/sample to send to UCLA as a type specimen for their collection and to thin section and microprobe for analysis.

During this time I was out there hunting for more fragments. I armed myself with a Whites Goldmaster Vsat, I cannot stress how awesome this machine is for chondrites!!! So I go out and start nailing larger and larger targets till one day I’m out there on hands and knees pick axe in the right hand excavating big 300-1000+-~gram fragments in my left hand the metal detector !!! So I’m sitting there excavating and I look to my left and I see this large rock which looked kinda brown rusty but it was so larger I realllllly wanted to just dismiss as some of the other rocks I’ve seen and because it was so large!! But the detector was right there and I said screw it!!! I ran the detector over that rock and it lit up like a damn Christmas tree!!!!

So I jumped to my feet and moved over the rock and I lost my s**t!!! I picked the damn thing up without another thought!! I knew I found the main mass it was big beautiful and had some regmaglypts on the nice side!!! I placed it gently down propped up on a piece of wood cocked a bit off the spot where it sat for a photo then I recorded to coordinates, put the mass in my backpack (the wife’s backpack) dug the last of the fragments from the place I was digging and took off out of the wood!!! I called my brother o the way out to tell him about my find and he told me to head over to his house to show him which I did. The first photo of me with the main mass was at my brothers house on his front porch Sept 11, 2018!!!!! After I left my brothers I went to my fathers house to show it off to him!! I showed of my treasure to him and exclaimed to him everything including the fact my detector was staring to fail after a hour of use so he decided to buy me a Gold Bug 2 !!!

I returned and have found more fragments with the gold bug!!! In total I have recovered over 36 fragments.

As of January 23, 2019, my meteorite was accepted and published into the metbul!!! Total weight is over 31lbs and the main mass is 24.4lbs
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Found at the arrow (green or red) on the map below


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This Month

Jansen Lyons
 2/12/2019 3:24:23 PM
Hi Stephen, Congratulations and excellent work in the last place I would have thought to find a meteorite! A heartwarming adventure no doubt, and my goodness that is a good looking meteorite. Sincerely, J. Lyons
Stephen Amara
 2/11/2019 7:17:44 PM
Thank you so much everyone!! It was my pleasure to share my story with you and it has been a really incredible find and a beautiful start to the new year!!! What has made the experience even better was to finally enter the realm of the 2019 Tucson gem and mineral show with my friend Topher Spinnato from Topherspin Meteorites!! Thank you Topher!! I met many new friends as well and shopped the best of the best material at arms length rather than projected on the computer screen. It*s been amazing folks and thank you for reading about my find!!!
Benjamin P. Sun
 2/11/2019 5:37:47 PM
wow amazing! Nice Find & nice story!
Jack Schrader
 2/11/2019 3:41:04 PM
Epic find! Nicely done Stephen. Congratulations!
Michael Mulgrew
 2/11/2019 12:17:25 PM
Well found, my friend! Keep looking!
Bob King
 2/11/2019 9:59:18 AM
Thank you for sharing your story, Stephen. Great tale of curiosity and persistence. Congratulations on your find!
Simon de Boer IMCA 9708
 2/11/2019 6:39:08 AM
every meteorite collectors dream , great story Stephen
 2/11/2019 6:18:16 AM

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