Wairarapa Times Age      
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Mysterious rock no meteorite

A MYSTERIOUS Masterton rock initially thought to have come from outer space is more than likely to be a naturally-occurring phenomenon, according to a director of the International Meteorite Collectors Association.

Ken Newton is on the IMCA board of directors and his duties include helping new collectors and sellers identify their suspect rock.

Mr Newton contacted the Times-Age after reading on the Internet about Masterton man Gordon Kibblewhite’s mysterious object which he thought may have been a meteorite.

Mr Kibblewhite found the object on a Hawke’s Bay beach five years ago. He has previously sent it to the Carter Observatory and Victoria University, which he said couldn’t confirm the object was a meteor but didn’t say it wasn’t either. He contacted the Times-Age after reading about an Auckland family who had a meteorite crash through their lounge roof and who subsequently received calls from overseas enthusiasts offering thousands of dollars for their space fall.

Mr Newton said in an e-mail communication that judging from the Times-Age picture it was more likely Mr Kibblewhite’s object was a naturally-occurring iron ore formation.“ The photo is not a meteorite,” he said. “I would guess it is a botryoidal hematite or a marcasite nodule … (both are) pyrite nodules which are naturally-occurring iron ore formations that are often mistaken for meteors,” he said.

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