As a meteorite hunter and trapper, Yes you can trap a meteorite I was seeking venture capital for meteorite recovery. I have about 5 years expericance and spend at least 10 hours per week on meteorites in research marketing the latest news etc. Prices for meteorites can range from 1 cent to $3500 a gram.

Ebay www.ebay.com searched under meteorite(s) reflects these prices and markets.

I have been published in:

The AP
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
The South Bend Tribune
Akron Beacon Journal
The Republic
Indianalopis Star
Plymouth Pilot News

My lastest is the Fincastle Herald Jan 26, 2006

Meteorite hunting in Craig and Botetourt Counties

By Anita J. Firebaugh

Somewhere in Craig or Botetourt counties there may be a really big meteorite lying on a rock wall.

Although it was found in Botetourt County in 1850, this hunk of metal from space is missing, and specimens of the meteorite are difficult to locate.

Botetourt County is a large area to cover, and in 1850 it was even bigger, as it also encompassed what is now Craig County. So the meteorite could be anywhere in this area of southwest Virginia.

Wherever it is, at least one meteorite hunter wants to find it.

Rick Nowak of Florida contacted The Fincastle Herald, a sister paper of The New Castle Record, recently to ask if anyone knew the meteorite’s location. He identified himself as an meteorite hunter and trapper who wanted to find the Botetourt County meteorite.

The meteorite is listed in a book called Catalogue of Meteorites and noted in other official lists of named and recorded meteorite finds. Very small specimens are supposed to be at Arizona State University, the United States Natural Museum (USNM or the Smithsonian), and in Calcutta and Vienna, but the meteorite apparently was very large.

The USNM could not locate its specimen, and Linda Welzenbach, USNM collection manager for the division of meteorites, was unsure if it ever was in the collection.

“We have pictures of the crystal structure of the meteorite but on the back it says the specimen is in Vienna,” she said.

Her documentation on the meteorite shows the fragments were once part of a mineral collection bequeathed to the Smithsonian by C. U. Shepard, a 19th century professor at Amherst College in Massachusetts and noted mineral collector.

In his papers, Shepard lists the Botetourt County, Virginia meteorite. In 1866, he wrote:

“This iron was discovered more than fifteen years ago in a mass so ponderous that the finder, having attempted to transport it on horseback a number of miles to his house, was obliged to abandon the undertaking. He left it upon a stone wall by the roadside, after having (with the assistance of a negro who happened at the time to be passing with a hammer) detached two or three small angular fragments.”

Shepard wrote that the finder gave the fragments to N. S. Manross, another Amherst College professor, who took them to Gottingen, Germany, for analysis. The fragments were determined to have a very unusual presence of nickel. Manross eventually gave one of the fragments and the information about its acquisition to Shepard. Shepard acquired all of the fragments after Manross died.

Shepard described the fragments as “whiter than most irons … fine granular like cast-steel.”

Welzenbach said upon further study it appears the Botetourt County meteorite is similar to a 20-pound meteorite called Babb’s Mill, found in 1842 in Greene County, Tennessee, and theorized the rocks may be from the same meteor or could even be the same meteorite.

It is not unusual for meteorites to be found from the same fall, as such an event is called, said John Goss, Botetourt County’s master astronomer. Goss said a large meteor falling from the sky can break apart. A matter of seconds can separate the rock masses over hundreds of miles. “They do spread out over the ground and could go over many miles,” Goss said.

Meteorite study was well underway in 1850, so a knowledgeable person could have realized the rock was significant and sought out a scientist, Goss said. Mineral testing was available back then.

Nowak, the meteor hunter, said the rock, if the size is as significant as suggested by the notations of requiring a horse to move it, could bring a pretty penny if the owner is inclined to sell it.

Goss said the documentation implies the meteorite weighed several hundred pounds. He said one indication of a meteorite is an “out of place rock. If you’re in an area with primarily sandy soil and then there’s a 400 pound iron rock, how did it get there? It must have fallen from the sky,” Goss said.

Nowak said the meteorite’s iron content makes it a unique meteorite. He believes the meteorite would be black and pitted.

“It’s going to be such an unusual stone, it’ll stick out like a sore thumb,” Nowak said.

Online, meteorite fragments range from less than $100 to $30,000 for a sliver, depending on the meteorite and its characteristics.

Nowak said he collects meteorites for fun, but others earn their living hunting for such stones. Meteor hunters have a varied reputation, depending on point of view. Goss called them “Indiana Jones” types who seek meteorites instead of treasure.

Welzenbach said meteor hunters can unwittingly impede the scientific process and noted that meteorite finds should be named and classified by an international committee that makes meteoric material available for research. Museums and scientists often don’t have the cash needed to buy a meteorite once a meteor hunter has acquired it, she said. “They can go out and snatch this stuff up and then the price skyrockets,” she added.

The Botetourt County meteorite has apparently been named and classified but the majority of the meteorite has been lost. The Herald unearthed a report of a meteorite in private hands in the Nace area of Botetourt, but it allegedly fell during the 20th century. The owner declined comment.

Goss and Welzenbach said meteorites on your property belong to you. “Don’t let anybody talk you out of it,” Welzenbach said.

You may contact me at rickyyarrow@yahoo.com