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Meteorites   
Wednesday June 1, 2005
By Dawna Curler

Welcome to As It Was: Tales from the State of Jefferson

A bright, greenish blue fireball streaked across the Northwest sky in March 2005. It was really nothing unusual-just a meteorite that probably disappeared into the Pacific Ocean. Meteorites have fallen all over the earth for millions of years. Occasionally someone finds one on the ground, which creates a bit of a stir. Several have been discovered in Southern Oregon and Northern California.

Deer hunters stumbled across one of the largest meteorites ever found in the United States in the Goose Lake area of Northern California in 1939. Because the meteor was recovered on National Forest land, it was sent to the Smithsonian Institutions where it is currently displayed. In 1952 a Klamath Falls rancher found a thirty-pound meteorite. He threw that one in the back of his pickup, drove to Albuquerque and sold it to the University of New Mexico.

A number of pieces of what's known as the Sam's Valley Meteorite have been found in Jackson County, Oregon. One fifteen-pound piece picked up in 1894 was sliced into pieces that were sent to museums in New York, London, Paris and Calcutta. 

So all you hikers keep a sharp eye on the ground. Watch for unusually heavy, metallic rocks. You may discover something that's out of this world.

Today's episode of As It Was was written by Dawna Curler, the program engineer is Raymond Scully.  I'm Shirley Patton. As It was is a co-production of JPR and the Southern Oregon Historical Society.  To Share stories or learn more about the series visit asitwas - dot- org

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