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The following is a verbatim quote of geological observations made from a sample of my suspected meteorite that was sent to XXXXXX xxxxxx early this year. The quoted text is from him while my comments are not in quote marks.
" The following is a compilation of the notes I took while examining the
Mike Moore/Amarillo, Texas specimen under various magnifications.
Following that, is a discussion attempting to interpret these
observations. I conclude with a discussion of how the rock may have
been brought up to the surface.
Specimen Examination Report:
Suspect Meteorite(?) from Amarillo, Texas
XXXXXX X. XXXXXX
Specimen is 3.5x2x2.5cm.
According to the accompanying photo, the specimen is a fragment taken
from a cavity or fissure (if this were sedimentary rock, it has the
appearance of an uneven parting plane) in a very well-rounded
(remarkably hemispherical with a flatter base, approximately 1ft in
diameter, sub parallel to the "fissure"), much pitted clast. The pits
are irregularly spaced and non-uniform in size.
Upon first sight, the specimen's appearance is that of a pumiceous or
highly vesicular scoria (basalt) or slag, but as soon as it is
handled, the specimen is noticeably heftier than pumice."
This is because the vesicles of the pumice have been filled with "sand."
" The specimen's overall color is brownish gray with a pinkish hue.
Half of the specimen appears to be weathered with the other half
appearing to be covered in sand/clay or caliche."
The weathered surface represents the portion of the sample that was exposed prior to my taking the sample. The half covered in the sand/clay material would represent material that was exposed to the "outside" world when I took my sample.
" APPEARANCE UNDER A 5x TO 20x HAND LENS
Appears to be much sand and clay in vesicles.
A solitary spot of a white, mineralized crust in the area where the
"weathered" surface meets the unweathered surface. "
The white spot should be considered to be of Earthly origin. Most of the time that I have had this rock, it has been stored in my closet. But from time to time, I have put the thing out in my living room so that I could look at it and use it for encouragement in times of distress. During one of those times several years ago, my daughter had a pet bird that used to sit on the rock and did his business there several times. I have not cleaned the rock, because other than this stuff, I dont know how to tell which things might be terrestrial and which things might be extra terrestrial, so I have just left it alone. If this does prove to be a meteorite, then other more qualified people could "clean" the rock and decide what to keep and what to throw away.
" The "weathered" surface appears to be locally remelted."
I believe this melting occurred during its entry into the Earths atmosphere. The melting only shows on the outermost surfaces and doesnt occur in the inner most part of the cavities or in the structure of the volcanic parts of the rock.
" Specimen's entire surface appears to be dusted with very fine,
I believe this is strong evidence of this rocks travel through the atmosphere. If we look at the overall shape of the rock, it contains many vesicles on the outer surface. As this rock came through the atmosphere, it was heated and also suffered the effects of the "wind" blowing around this object. If each of the vesicles were filled with sand (as the entire interior seems to be) then this sand would have been "sucked" out of the vesicles and departed on the melted outer surfaces. This is why the entire outer surface shows this sand which appears to be "cemented" to the volcanic structure of the rock.
" Most of the arkosic sand grains that have adhered to the specimen are
subrounded, but some solitary grains are euhedral (quartz?)."
The material deposited on the surface came from within the rock. The sand within the rock represents a number of different types of material. Some of this material appears to have been "rounded" by water or other erosion type actions. This rock must have sat in a "river bed" or some other water course and the material within represents those "things" that got washed into the rock. Some of the sand grains are volcanic in nature, so I would assume the rock had to have been in a water course that had volcanic material upstream.
" APPEARANCE UNDER A 40x TO 120x MICROSCOPE
Specimen is very vesicular.
Vesicles range from .05mm to 1.0cm, averaging .3mm.
All original "basaltic" minerals appear to be altered (like in
Biological observation: Root hairs can be found throughout the
These are called "root hairs" but root hairs are connected to roots which are connected to plants. The root hairs appear to be alive and seem to be sufficient in themselves as they are not attached to any "plant" but only attach to the sand/clay parts of the rock. These things come in several different colors including clear, blue, red, orange, and black and appear to be made of flexible glass. They shine brightly under direct lighting and I have never seen a root hair with these characteristics.
" A fine dusting of particles appears to cover most of the specimen.
Even the surfaces that "appear to be remelted" are dusted."
Again, evidence the sand was pulled from within the rock and deposited onto the hot material of the surface. This is strong evidence the rock came through the atmosphere.
" Almost all "unweathered" vesicles contain a yellowish, waxy clay.
In a few of the vesicles without clay can be seen a (drusy) lining of
very small euhedral crystals, to include quartz and magnetite.
The "white spot" is a crust comprising plume-shaped, feathery stacks
of sulphate encrustation, which forms a nest for several clear,
euhedral selenite crystals which are up to .2mm in diameter."
Again, the white parts should not be considered part of the rock but of terrestrial contamination.
" The particles in the "dust" and sand are mostly very angular.
The rectangular, dark-reddish spots are mafic minerals in the "basalt"
which have been oxidized to alteration minerals.
Since the lithology of this specimen and the rock from which it came
are not uncommon to the Western United States, and would be
unprecedented if it were a meteorite, the sole reason for speculating
an otherworldly origin for the rock is its unexplained appearance on
the surface of the ground. The presence of evaporite minerals and
the numerous root hairs is contradictory for a recent extraterrestrial
Everyone keeps saying that this type of rock is very common in the Western United States, but the pictures from the Viking spacecraft show that these types of rocks are very common on Mars also. At first glance the rock does appear to be similar to American volcanic material. However, over the last 25 years, I have traveled to many volcanoes that are "near" the site where this rock was found, even though these sites are hundreds of miles away and represent volcanoes which were active from 6,000 to 10,000,000 years ago. When compared side by side, the material are not similar. I can agree that this rock may be unprecedented, but I was the one who found it, so my experience is different than any other person on the planet. I am confident in my observational abilities as I have worked in various areas of science my entire life and I know that this rock appeared one day in a place that I was very familiar with. It had never been there before. There were no marks around it and the physical evidence is completely consistent with a travel through the atmosphere. The evaporite minerals can be disallowed as terrestrial in origin and the "root hairs" are completely consist with the type of life one would expect to be living on Mars right now.
" Although the portions of the specimen that appear remelted are not
contradictory evidence, there are many possible scenarios that can be
used to explain this. The spherical shape of the rock is indicative
of alteration (remelting) under igneous conditions. Although
spherical shaped clasts are very uncommon in alluvium, sphericity is
considered as contraindication for a meteorite."
The remelting of the material as it traveled through the atmosphere is completely consistent with my explanation of how this rock came to be among us. The spherical shape in general would be a contraindication for meteorites in general, but not to any sample in particular. The heavens are a large place and many different types of material can make their way to Earth. The Earth has been bombarded with debris from space for about 5 billion years. Anyone who thinks they know of every type of meteorite that has ever hit the planet is kidding themselves. The rock may represent the exception rather than the rule, but the exceptions should represent the most interesting material because it is different.
" I could give a detailed accounting of this rocks proposed geologic
history, but that discussion wouldn't decide whether it's terrestrial
or extraterrestrial. The presence of gypsum and root hairs on the
specimen does prove that it has been on or near the surface of this
planet during its most recent past. "
I would propose that no amount of discussion would decide whether it is terrestrial or extraterrestrial. Only scientific tests will determine that. All I have asked for is scientific tests to be done on the rock. I can not change a single isotope ratio within that rock. The truth lies within the rock and no amount of speculation can change that fact. I just want the truth to be known.
" III. HYPOTHESIS:
BASED UPON OBSERVATIONS
A very round, vesicular rock that has been in the ground, shallow
enough, and long enough in duration, to form a growth of gypsum and to
be thoroughly penetrated by root hairs.
BASED UPON PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AND OBSERVATION OF COMPARABLE SPECIMENS
Natural (igneous), not man-made (slag), but terrestrial (originating
A reworked clast of volcanoclastic (or possibly, "pillow") basalt.
IV. CONCLUDING REMARKS
A COMMENT ON HOW THE CLAST MAY HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO THE SURFACE
Across the street from my house is a broad, sandy wash. On occasion,
during the dry season, I have encountered shallow pits freshly dug
into the sandy stream bed. There are indications that these are dug
by animals. I have surmised that the animals are digging down into
the stream bed in an attempt to find water. Porous or vesicular rocks
are better than most in retaining moisture. The rock from which the
specimen came from, having numerous clay-filled vesicles, would retain
moisture quite nicely. Were this rock close to the surface of a sandy
area, it could give an animal the false impression of water close to
the surface. It's not unlikely that an animal could have
inadvertently dug up this rock in its search for water."
My own personal experience eliminates this explanation. There were no holes around or near this thing. There was a windmill nearby that the cattle and other animals used for water. The ground around this rock was completely untouched by animal or man. This explanation just shows how our preconceptions shape our thoughts. It seems no one can believe this rock came from space, but I think there is enough evidence at this point to indicate the rock needs to be studied further. If I am wrong and this rock did come from Earth, then all that would be wasted is the time needed to perform a few tests. If I am right and this rock is extraterrestrial, then this rock can tell us much about the evolution of life on a world different from our own. That has got to be one of the most important discoveries that mankind can make in trying to properly discover our own position in the cosmos. If life is abundant in our solar system, then it is probably abundant throughout the cosmos.
Another scenario that has been proposed concerning the discovery of this rock is that this rock represents a volcanic "bomb" which was ejected about the time I found the rock in the early 1970s. I believe this scenario unlikely also. First, if the rock was recently ejected from a volcano it would be made from the material of the volcano but would not have had time to accumulate the sandy material which apparently fills the volcanic material that makes up the structure of the rock. Secondly, I dont think that the physics of our planet would allow a rock to travel as far as it would have had to travel. I suspect the nearest active volcano at that time would have been a third to half way around the world. Earths gravity is too strong and the atmosphere too dense to allow rocks of this size to travel that far. But the obvious old age of the rock and its contents speak against this scenario.
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