Kansas meteorite on display in Tulsa

Friday, November 18th 2005, 10:38 am
By: News On 6

A strange visitor from outer space came through Tulsa Friday. You might have seen last month that a 1,400 pound meteorite was found in Kansas.

The man who found it has a friend in Tulsa, so on his way to Texas, he made a stop Tulsa and as News on 6 reporter Steve Berg tells us, it became an impromptu science fair.

Steve Arnold's quest to find one of the world's biggest meteorites had a less-than-promising start. "Probably pulled out of that half-section a hundred pounds worth of horseshoes and broken plows and wrenches and pliers and wagon wheels, it's amazing." But then, in a Kansas farm field, where it had been sitting buried for 2,000 years, was the really amazing find, a huge meteorite.

Arnold's been selling and hunting for meteorites for 15 years, but never like this one. This one is worth well over a million dollars. "This time, yeah, it's kind of a jackpot."

He found it with, to put it scientifically, a super-duper metal detector. "Not your run-of-the-mill metal detector, but one that goes really deep."

Arnold used to live in Tulsa and is longtime friends with the owner of Accurate Auto Body, so he parked it at the business on Friday to give people a look. He definitely doesn't have to worry about anyone picking it up and running off with it. "At 1,400 pounds, it would be a chore to do that."

The weight comes from the iron and yes, it's magnetic. But what really makes it attractive to collectors is its shape, most meteors tumble through the atmosphere, not this one. "A very small percentage of meteorites are oriented, which means it basically held its position all the way in and melted in this bullet or nosecone shape. It's what a meteorite ought to look like, so when kids see it, they go wow. And when collectors and even researchers see it, they go wow too."