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Friday, 10 February 2012

Even more about the meteorite

 Extract:
"A document trail has been initiated which provides new and
verifiable information about the terrestrial provenance of the
meteorite associated with Lake House. The latest findings will be
presented together with an up-to-date probability/possibility
assessment of the place of first collection and hence the site of
the fall."
Does anybody know anything more?

-----------------------------

EVALUATION OF VARIOUS HYPOTHESES RELATING
TO THE LOCATION OF THE FALL AND THE
SUBSEQUENT HISTORY OF A LARGE METEORITE
LATELY RECOVERED IN WILTSHIRE, UK
C.T. Pillinger and J.M. Pillinger. Planetary and Space Sciences
Research Institute, The Open University, Milton Keynes, MK7
67AA, UK. c.t.pillinger@open.ac.uk

Introduction:
A large, 60kg, weathered meteorite was
reported to have been in the UK for at least 60 years when it was
taken to the Natural History Museum, London, twenty years ago.
Previous to 1991, eye witness and photographic evidence
demonstrate that it rested for many years near to the front door of
an imposing country house in Wiltshire. It was reputed to have
been either brought to the UK or otherwise collected locally by Lt
Col Frederick George Glyn Bailey in the early twentieth century.
The descendents of FGG Bailey have made the specimen
available and encouraged a study to ascertain more information
about the meteorite before arranging for it to be on permanent
local public display. The meteorite is described in an
accompanying abstract.
The presence of a meteorite of unknown terrestrial
provenance offers a considerable challenge. Whilst a scientific
examination [1] can offer some information, much depends on an
exhaustive examination of contemporary documents. Some while
ago we were able to piece together a detailed account of the
circumstances surrounding the fall of the Wold Cottage meteorite
to show it should not be considered as just any old ordinary
chondrite [2].
Results: The life and times of Lt Col FGG Bailey have been
researched thoroughly in order to highlight any possible links he
may have had to a meteorite find either in the UK or the rest of
the World. The meteorite is inextricably linked to the house
where it was located for so many years: Lake House. Thus the
history of the Lake House Estate, the house, its previous
occupants and their associates, including their interests and
scientific aptitude, have also been studied in an attempt to
establish the earthly provenance of the specimen.
Several hypotheses have been considered to account for the
presence of the meteorite in Wiltshire. Necessarily these
hypotheses revolve round the people who could conceivably have
had an involvement in the meteorite’s history on Earth.
Questions regarding whether they might have had the motivation,
opportunity and capability to recognize a meteorite have been
considered. Even if they did, they would have needed the
resources to move such a large stone and have the desire to
collect and display it.
A document trail has been initiated which provides new and
verifiable information about the terrestrial provenance of the
meteorite associated with Lake House. The latest findings will be
presented together with an up-to-date probability/possibility
assessment of the place of first collection and hence the site of
the fall. The work reported here may offer some pointers to
others searching archive material for reports connected to
meteorite related events.

References: [1] C.T. Pillinger et al., this volume. [2] C.T.
Pillinger and J.M. Pillinger Meteoritics and Planetary Science 31,
589-605 (1996)

5 comments:

Tony H said...

Well,well, well! I'm wondering if Christopher Chippindale's "Stonehenge Complete" throws any light on the terrestrial provenance of this weighty meteorite.

Otherwise, somone could ask STING of Police (aka Gordon Sumner) who, as far as I know, is still the owner of Lake House. Sting permitted an Iron Age? burial to be excavated within his grounds around 20 years ago (write-up in Wilts. Archaeological Mag. [W.A.M.] where they managed to get his pre-stage name wrong).

BRIAN JOHN said...

Prof Pillinger has obviously done this provenancing work -- but I'm not sure where to find it...

Tony H said...

Lake House, where it is suggested in one of your references the meteorite sat outside the front door, is in the parish of Wilsford-Cum - Lake, near the River Avon and to the south-west of Amesbury. I do have the W.A.M. article somewhere in the house.

Did the meteorite somehow indirectly inspire "Walking On The Moon"?

Wiltshire Heritage Museum said...

Colin Pilinger spent a long time researching this in Wiltshire Heritage Museum and Salisbury Museum. There is a photo from the 1920s (at least) showing the meteorite sitting by the front door of Lake House. It had clearly been there for some time, and the house was owned by Duke who excavated a number of barrows in Lake. I am not sure what the evidence is to more clearly link excavating a barrow with the discovery of the meteorite, but this will no doubt emerge in due course.

BRIAN JOHN said...

... but where did the stuff about the druids come from? If a barrow is the chief suspect for the source of the meteorite, then we must be talking Neolithic or Bronze Age.