Man hunts for recent meterorite
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    Dec 2004
    Long Island New York
    White's XLT
    25 times

    Man hunts for recent meterorite

    By Rudabeh Shahbazi
    Video UMATILLA COUNTY-- Sam Nobles calls it treasure hunting. He’s one of many who want to get their hands on the meteorite that streaked through the sky last month.

    No one has yet reported finding a piece of it on earth. But those who saw or heard the sonic boom have faith that it will show up in eastern Oregon.

    Experts say this is only the fourth known meteorite in Oregon’s history, and that it had the impact of 50 tons of TNT.

    Nobles started as a gold miner, but grew interested in meteorites during a trip to Arizona in the seventies. When he heard about the flash in the sky, he jumped at the opportunity to find anything left behind.

    “As soon as I heard about it I took off and went to Helix and Tollgate,” he said.

    Planes and helicopters couldn’t find fragments of the triple explosion, but Sam hopes he might.

    “I would love to know where it's from,” he said. “You never know where it comes from, Mars, or the Asteroid Belt...”

    This is no task to undertake with the naked eye alone. Sam uses a variety of tools to aid in the search—ATV’s, metal detectors and steel rods, to name a few.

    “I carry a magnet with me, and the magnet will really grasp iron,” he said. “It’s a good little tool for collecting meteorites.”

    But he said the best way to track it is by simply talking to people. He’s interviewed close to 50 witnesses.

    No luck so far, but he has found and collected other interesting geological formations during his search through the wild. Sam said he enjoys the mission of tracking through isolated territory by himself or the camaraderie of the search with other people.

    Still, Sam knows exactly what he’s looking for, and has hope that he will find it when the last of the snow melts away. When asked if the discovery of gold or a meteorite would be more exciting, he answered without hesitation.

    “So far, gold, since I’ve only found gold,” he said. “But if I find a meteor, that would top it.”

    The Portland State University Cascadia Meteorite Lab is heading the research on this meteorite, and asks anyone with information to call the lab.




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