On Sunday January 24th, 2016 at 10:30 AM, a bright fireball streaked over the Florida skies. Having been a bit worn down from the east coast snow storm, I got excited when I heard the news from my friend Marc Fries. His message was short and sweet, “Your pending AMS reports contain a meteorite fall!” I immediately checked and approved over 80 reports from eye witnesses of the fall. After computing and publishing the trajectory, I sent the map to Marc. He responded quickly, ‘SPOT-ON BULLSEYE!’ The AMS’s fireball trajectory intersected with the meteorite cloud Marc had found.
While fireballs fall every day, it is rare for large groups of people to see them. It is rarer still for them to show up on doppler weather radar. When this does happen, its an almost certain sign that meteorites are on the ground under the return. This was one of those times. A radar return like this takes out all the guess work and you know exactly where to search.
News of the fall spread in the meteorite community quickly. I got a call from my friend Larry Atkins the next day. He exclaimed after I answered the phone, “I’m in the car, just two hours away from the strewnfield!” Larry had been visiting his Dad in Florida the weekend of the fall. When he heard the news, he jumped in his car and and started driving toward the field.
Great first person account of searching out and finding meteorites from a recent late January fall here in Florida with many good images.