[meteorite-list] Final thoughts on Elma
adamhupe at comcast.net
Fri Apr 23 14:25:42 EDT 2004
The Elma event was very interesting from an investigative standpoint. For
us, it was more like investigating an X-File scene than a meteorite fall.
Dozens of witnesses came forward including officer Bealert who also saw the
light show and later investigated the suspected impact site. There is no
doubt that an event resembling a meteor was observed that night. The thing
in question is whether the material found behind the school in the shot-put
pit is meteoritic or not. We have stated from the beginning that the
recovered glassy objects were not meteorites.
Another theory arose soon after the material was determined not to be
meteoritic. Russian researcher Dr. A. Ol'khovatov stated the conditions
were perfect for a transient event and witness statements could be explained
by such an occurrence. He went as far as documenting the event on his
web-site calling it a probable a "Geometeorite". His interpretation can be
found by sifting through a huge amount of data on the web-site below:
Sandia National Laboratories has a division that investigates transient
events and also believes the witness statements are consistent. They have
inquired a few times and take these kinds of reports seriously. From what
we were lead to believe they have the ability to track such events from
remote sensing equipment.
The University of Washington analyzed the material and found in simple terms
glass surrounding unmelted sand, kind of like a reverse fulgurate. We found
the company who supplied the sand and investigated. The glassy objects had
to have been introduced into the sand at a latter time than when supplied.
It was suggested that sinters from the original nearby running track may
have contaminated the shot-put pit. This seemed impossible because the
running track had been rubberized over a decade ago and there were no glass
objects found between the track and the pit. The source of the sinters was
tracked down to a power generation plant. Samples were brought back and
analyzed. The problem was the sinters were highly variable but none were
found with unmelted sandy cores. They were somewhat similar leading the
University of Washington to conclude they were probably the most likely
answer to the puzzle.
An interesting item is that Robert Haag investigated a similar event as
noted at the site below:
In conclusion two labs are leaning towards a transient event and one
against. We will continue to keep an open mind but do not have much spare
time to investigate anything other than true meteorites.
All the best,
Adam and Greg Hupe
The Hupe Collection
More information about the Meteorite-list