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MISSING: 9.04 kilogram Sikhote-Alin shrapnel individual   More Info

SA Adventure 2 of 3   contributed by jnmczurich, IMCA 2391   MetBul Link

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Copyright (c) jnmczurich. Use allowed - include photographer's name: jnmczurich.
  Iron, IIAB

TKW 23 MT. Observed fall 12 February 1947, Primorskiy kray, Russia


Jόrgen/jnmczurich writes:
Sikhote-Alin Adventure, May 1995, Part 2 of 3

Even 48 years (1995) after the fall of the meteorites (February 12, 1947), most of the impact craters were still in an unusually good condition, only the vegetation had partially overgrown and recaptured the craters. It was a great experience to stand on the rim of the largest crater (26 m in diameter, acc V.F.Buchwald, Vol.3), to look into the depth of the impact hole (Pic 1).

Unfortunately, this gigantic view is not nearly recognizable on the two-dimensional scan image of the slide photo print. Some of the craters were so big that I could not get their size onto a picture with the standard photo lens. Without a wide-angle lens, I then took several pictures side by side and used old adhesive technique to make a large overview picture (Pic 2, 3, 4, 5).

The dense vegetation made it impossible to walk through the forest in many places. There were a striking number of Amur snakes, especially near the swamp, not far from the campsite (Pic 6). Wild boar tracks were also quite common. We took water for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene from the river next to our campsite area (Pic 7, 8).

The days in the strewnfield were really hard work. With our metal detectors, backpacks and tote bags, we would search for up to 8 to 10 hours every day and mark intermediate deposits of our found meteorite samples at various points in the forest for transport in the evening towards the campsite area (Pic 9, 10, 11).

I was grateful that my two colleagues had given me a two to three hour time-window one day as a short opportunity to go "to the Sikhote-Alin individuals" alone. The way there alone was very exhausting and found samples on the way were explosion fragments. I was always hoping to finally find an individual specimen. They shortened the short search opportunity in the actual target area. I then was happy to finally find three individuals somewhere (where I can't say without GPS data, probably in the middle of the strewnfield) in the densest, almost impenetrable forest (Pic 12).

Among the three individual pieces I found, my top individual weighs 2.03 kg. What luck! I had photographed the unearthed individual with my analog camera in the exposed find hole and at least I was able to quickly take a picture of the place where I found the individual with the self-triggering analog camera (Pic 13, 14).

We used a two person tent with three people inside (Pic 15). The middle man slept in the opposite direction from the others. During the day it was a temperature of 25 to 30° C, and without the protective clothing the mosquitoes would have killed us. We were all bitten by mosquitoes, of course, and also by ticks several times and had to take medication during and after the tour. In the evening, just before night, we had to examine each other for tick infestation in the hair. It was really bad - the ticks crept everywhere into the rainproof protective clothing, into the sleeping bags (Pic 16). Please note: ticks are always present in the Sikhote-Alin forest and also in the swamp. They are trying to kill meteorite hunters in particular. They are the most terroristic "animals" in the forest. They are strong - very strong like a Siberian tiger (just a little smaller) - and want to bite you whenever there is an opportunity (Pic 17). They cause permanent headache, at some point we all had enough. After seven days in the forest, the amount found was so large that we were able to successfully complete the search, mission accomplished! (Pic 18).

Here are two interesting examples of finds from our tour:
1.) A fragment with a hole through which a tree root has grown! Rarely seen… (Pic 19)

2.) A few fragments were not completely rusty brown and showed, 48 years after the fall, almost metallic bright areas that were perhaps protected by the find location in the ground? As an example, here is a 2 kg find, one of my largest finds (Pic 21, 21)

Picture 1 – Impact crater, 26 m diameter
Picture 2 – Impact crater
Picture 3 – Impact crater
Picture 4 – Impact crater
Picture 5 – Impact crater
Picture 6 – Amur snake
Picture 7 – Ouh, it is so cold…
Picture 8 – Fisherman Petrovich
Picture 9 – High find rate within a few m2
Picture 10 – Hard work, pure fun
Picture 11 – Exhausted
Picture 12 – Almost impenetrable forest
Picture 13 – 2.03 kg individual in-situ
Picture 14 – Lucky finder with 2.03 kg individual
Picture 15 – Our Hotel Suite
Picture 16 – One day after Tick attack…
Picture 17 – Original Sikhote-Alin tick behind a translucent tape
Picture 18 – Mission accomplished
Picture 19 – Fragment with hole and tree root
Picture 20 – 1.99 kg fragment
Picture 21 – Unweathered area on the fragment
To be continued with MPOD "Sikhote-Alin adventure in May 1995" part 3, following in a few days…
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Photo 21

Found at the arrow (green or red) on the map below


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Twink Monrad

This Month

Larry Atkins
 5/14/2020 3:55:26 PM
Thank you so much for sharing your hunt of my birthday meteorite! "Nothing worthwhile is easy" comes to mind. Awesome report and pictures, gotta love that little trout!
Jon Taylor
 5/14/2020 11:35:21 AM
What a grand adventure! Thanks for sharing your tales from the strewn field of one of the greatest falls in all of history.
Jim Strope
 5/14/2020 10:47:57 AM
Fantastic. I can't wait for part 3
Anne Black
 5/13/2020 2:47:10 PM
Great story Juergen. Now you need to present all of this, text and pictures, to Paul Harris, for publication in Meteorite-Times.
 5/13/2020 12:23:44 PM
"In case the Amur Adder (Elaphe schrenckii) feels threatened it might make use of defensive bites." Obviously not one of our scaly friends lay on a worldclass 20 kg individual.
Michael Mulgrew
 5/13/2020 12:00:09 PM
This needs to be written out long form and published in a book, fantastic!
Juergen / jnmczurich
 5/13/2020 9:48:50 AM
Thank you for the kind feedback. Please don't forget, I've only been once there. My two tour partners and other search teams have been there several times or even frequently and have always experienced these efforts and difficult conditions on site. My thanks go to these colleagues who have all provided us with wonderful Sikhote-Alin fragments and individuals.
Ben Fisler
 5/13/2020 9:15:24 AM
Thanks for presenting Part Two of your expedition. That is truly high adventure..
Frank Cressy
 5/13/2020 9:04:32 AM
Two fantastic reports. I can't wait for part 3. Thank you for sharing your adventure.
Larry Atkins
 5/13/2020 5:36:10 AM
Thank you so much for sharing your hunt of my birthday meteorite! "Nothing worthwhile is easy" comes to mind. Awesome report and pictures, gotta love that little trout!
Bernd Pauli
 5/13/2020 5:26:07 AM
Wish I could have participated in such an exciting adventure. Alex, you name it: truly a once-in-a-lifetime trip - something you'll never forget!
Kally Wombacher
 5/13/2020 5:02:41 AM
Would be great to repeat such an excursion with the tecnical equipment of today. Great report J*rgen - thanks for sharing your adventure.
 5/13/2020 5:02:07 AM
Thanks for part II, Juergen. Text & pics together evoke the real Sikhote vine.
Pierre-Marie Pel*
 5/13/2020 4:37:41 AM
amazing report and photos. Thanks a lot for sharing.
 5/13/2020 4:37:39 AM
First-class account. Thanks for sharing!
Andi Koppelt
 5/13/2020 4:22:49 AM
Graham Ensor
 5/13/2020 4:14:57 AM
A real joy to see this account...most envious.
Alex Seidel
 5/13/2020 4:04:33 AM
Great expedition - nice pics! Thanks, Juergen! Very much looking forward to the final part of the trilogy. It may have been a once-in-a-lifetime trip, not many people managed to go to that place. I wonder if you are longing to return one of these days, if this were ever possible..??
Tomasz Jakubowski
 5/13/2020 3:16:55 AM
absolutely amazing photos, 99% collectors have SA in collection but most didnt know how field looked like... thanks for showing this...
 5/13/2020 2:10:01 AM
Wow, amazing photos, J*rgen! Thanks for sharing them. I am happy to have a nice 545g fragment you discovered during that expedition in my collection. :)

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