Farmer's Artifact Determined To Be MeteoriteAP , Associated Press
Oct. 19, 1987 7:03 PM ET
BLOOMINGTON, IND. BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) _ A rock stored in a farmer's collection of Indian artifacts for 11 years turned out to be a 4.5-billion-year-old meteorite that could provide new information on how the solar system developed, scientists announced Monday.
Preliminary tests indicate the newly named Seymour meteorite may never have been heated, meaning it did not go through the geologic processes that have taken place on Earth, geologists from Indiana and Ball State universities and the Indiana Geologic Survey said.
Such a meteorite is called an ''H3 chondrite,'' said Indiana geologist Abhijit Basu.
''If our further research confirms that this is indeed an H3 chondrite, it would be one of only a handful reported in the world.'' he said. ''Research on it has a very large promise to unfold some of the mysteries of the history of the early solar system.''
C.F. Miller, 63, who found the meteorite on his 371-acre farm near Seymour in May 1976, said he was ''walking through the field looking for artifacts, stone ax heads and things. But this looked different, so I picked it up.''
''I thought it was a piece of iron ore,'' he said. ''It looks like something you'd find in a junkyard.''
Miller placed the 8-inch rock, which is rusty and shaped like a small football, in his treasured box of Indian artifacts. It remained there until a few months ago, when he showed it to his son-in-law, Ball State University Geologist Phillip Bonneau.
''He always is showing me rocks and things from his collection. He pulled this one out and it at first didn't mean a whole lot. Then I looked at it a little closer ... and I decided to do a few tests,'' said Bonneau, 29.
Bonneau later took the find to the Indiana Geological Survey, located at Indiana University, for further testing.