Dear List,

The Elma event was very interesting from an investigative standpoint. For us, it was more like investigating an X-File scene than a meteorite fall. Dozens of witnesses came forward including officer Bealert who also saw the light show and later investigated the suspected impact site. There is no doubt that an event resembling a meteor was observed that night. The thing in question is whether the material found behind the school in the shot-put pit is meteoritic or not. We have stated from the beginning that the recovered glassy objects were not meteorites.

Another theory arose soon after the material was determined not to be meteoritic. Russian researcher Dr. A. Ol'khovatov stated the conditions were perfect for a transient event and witness statements could be explained by such an occurrence. He went as far as documenting the event on his web-site calling it a probable a "Geometeorite". His interpretation can be found by sifting through a huge amount of data on the web-site below:


Sandia National Laboratories has a division that investigates transient events and also believes the witness statements are consistent. They have inquired a few times and take these kinds of reports seriously. From what we were lead to believe they have the ability to track such events from remote sensing equipment.

The University of Washington analyzed the material and found in simple terms glass surrounding unmelted sand, kind of like a reverse fulgurate. We found the company who supplied the sand and investigated. The glassy objects had to have been introduced into the sand at a latter time than when supplied. It was suggested that sinters from the original nearby running track may have contaminated the shot-put pit. This seemed impossible because the running track had been rubberized over a decade ago and there were no glass objects found between the track and the pit. The source of the sinters was tracked down to a power generation plant. Samples were brought back and analyzed. The problem was the sinters were highly variable but none were found with unmelted sandy cores. They were somewhat similar leading the University of Washington to conclude they were probably the most likely answer to the puzzle.

An interesting item is that Robert Haag investigated a similar event as noted at the site below:


In conclusion two labs are leaning towards a transient event and one against. We will continue to keep an open mind but do not have much spare time to investigate anything other than true meteorites.

All the best,

Adam and Greg Hupe
The Hupe Collection
Team LunarRock
IMCA 2185