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Hastings dentist claims meteor fragment exploded overhead landing in his fields

Patrick Center

A Barry County man claims a fragment of the meteor that penetrated the earth’s atmosphere over Michigan this week – the one with the sonic boom causing an earthquake registering 2.0 on the Richter scale – came down over his head just outside Hastings. WGVU made the drive and trekked the fields in search of its remains.

“Uh, uh…who’d of…50 yards from where it hits and seeing it!”

Stacy Garrison was pulling into his driveway around 8:10 Tuesday evening.

“My husband is a scientist, chemist slash also dentist and he just normally doesn’t jump on these things but when he came in the house last night I really thought…I don’t, he was just astounded,” this was the description of events from Cindy Garrison. “And he said, ‘I’m telling you! I’m telling you! I saw that come down across and literally explode right here in these fields.’”

Stacey continued, “And right in front of me, no further than 30 to 50 yards a meteor came down. It broke up into pieces, and flaming pieces shot to the ground.”

Credit Patrick Center / WGVU
Stacey Garrison's field

Dr. Garrison called WGVU.

“Well, I thought I had to call somebody and it’s all on all the news things so I thought I’d call one of the local news stations. I was hoping somebody could come out and find a piece if you want the truth? You know.”

I made several passes through the field measuring an acre or so. Mrs. Garrison asked, “So have you gone to the other field?” I explained my search technique is the “Curious George” method of converting the field into quadrants as I walk.

“That’s how I mushroom hunt” Cindy laughed, “I make a grid, a mental grid.”

I continued on in 25 degree weather. As the hunt expanded to the next field over where the acreage grew tenfold my grid turned into unscientific zigzagging.

The president of the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association, Chris Miller, explained if I was lucky I might find a fragment strike.

“In blackened snow, I would think?” added Cindy.

After a couple of hours in the fields I stopped by Doctor Garrison’s office. “So, you didn’t find any melted snow or anything?” asked Garrison.

I explained that’s what I was looking for.

“It could be the size of a nickel or even…a grain of sand flying that fast burning up. I have no idea?” was his response.

Or, there’s nothing left to discover. I don’t doubt the dentist for a moment, but finding meteor fragments in acres upon acres of snow covered fields overgrown with last year’s dried up crops still standing is next to impossible for a novice.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.