Description

    VALERA METEORITE - THE ONLY DOCUMENTED METEORITE FATALITY...SO FAR
    Chondrite - L5
    Trujillo, Venezuela - (9° 19' 0"N, 70° 37' 42"W)
    Unlike the close calls of meteorites that nearly struck someone (see lots 49013, 49014 and 49103), Valera is the only meteorite to have found its mark. On the evening of October 15, 1972 - exactly forty years before the date of this auction - farmhands in Trujillo, Venezuela were startled by an inexplicable sonic boom. The next morning a large, unusual rock was found alongside a cow's carcass - the neck and clavicle of which had been pulverized. It was clear to the owner of the farm, physician Argimiro Gonzalez, what had occurred; it seemed natural to him that falling rocks would occasionally result in deaths, and the small boulder was ultimately set aside and used as a doorstop. Years later scientists confirmed what Dr. Gonzalez had long presumed - the boulder was, in fact, a meteorite. What Dr. Gonzalez didn't know was that this was the first - and to this day the only - documented fatality from a meteorite impact. This partial slice of Valera has one polished face and a richly hued variegated matrix chock full of chondrules (spherical inclusions of silica) and decorative metallic grains scattered throughout - characteristics diagnostic in the identification of stone meteorites. An official notarized affidavit that describes the events surrounding Valera's impact accompanies this offering. 49 x 57 x 3mm (2 x 2.25 x 0.1 inches) and 18.4 grams.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    14th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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