Newly Discovered Meteorites from the June 1998 Casa Grande, AZ Fireball   
         Discovered Feb10,2013 by Sonny Clary, Rob Reisener & Frederick Stephan


Sonny Clary Collection



I could not believe my eyes. It was a human skull. When the Ranger  answered the phone I described my macabre discovery. He asked if I could stay in the vicinity until they arrived. The night crew was on their way but it would take time for them to arrive. Due to the impending storm and the distance to my car I informed the Ranger that I needed to head back. Later in the evening I  received a phone call that the were not able to locate the body. We agreed to meet in the morning so I could guide them to the area.

The next morning I met up with the four Rangers. One of the Rangers was carrying an AR 15 rifle. The officer with the rifle decided to take lead and we all followed in behind him to locate the remains. Two more Sheriff Deputy’s arrived along with a coroner. Once we located the remains I left to start the days hunt. I hoped that finding these remains would lead to them being returned to his family and give them some closure. The Ranger explained that many times they find an ID in the backpack. He mentioned there is a process for the families of missing loved ones to report them missing. There is also DNA testing done to identify the remains.

I joined a couple friends in the desert and we spent the day hunting. Throughout the day we found backpacks along with mountain bikes, carpet shoes and discarded clothing. At one point I came across a small baseball glove that must have been dropped by one of the immigrants. I could not stop thinking about the people that struggled through this desert in search of a better life. The baseball glove made me think of my son and fond memories of catch in the back yard. I wondered how old the owner of this glove was and where he was now. We continued to hunt throughout the day with no meteorite finds.

On the very last day in Arizona after the gem show I went back to an area that I had hunted the day before. I could see my tracks in the dirt. My footprints had been covered by several sets of footprints from the nighttime activity. Later in the day I found an 18 gram beautiful fully crusted meteorite. What a way to end my hunt!

I have included these pictures out of concern for fellow meteorite hunters. Please make safety your top priority when you are in this area.


18g STA 02 deposited at UCLA

     Earth and Space Sciences