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Man thinks fragment is meteorite; geologists say it’s a brick

Posted on Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 5:30 pm

(updates – geologists think fragment is brick)

MILFORD – A Caroline County man is wondering if a meteorite broke a window in his home, damaging a mini-blind and landing on the floor across the room.

Paul Coleman went out for dinner in Bowling Green and returned to his home on Devils Three Jump Road about dark on Thursday night. When he entered his living room, he found broken bits of glass on a table. He looked around and found more bits of broken glass on the floor and a sofa.

He noticed a mini-blind had been damaged and lifted it to examine the window behind it. There was a hole in the double-pane window and screen.

Paul Coleman found this rock in his home Thursday night after it broke a double-pane window and screen. He thinks it may be a meteorite.

Coleman, 73, did a little more looking and found a small rock on the floor on the other side of the room from the window, a distance of about 12 feet. It was on the floor next to a baseboard.

The rock is reddish-brown in color with some black discoloration. It also has a few flecks of white. Coleman thinks the white could have come from the mini-blind, which is white.

The rock is about 2-3 inches long, light in weight. “It feels like lava rock to me,” said Coleman, who has handled volcanic rock material while visiting a relative in Hawaii.

The appearance of the hole and trail of broken glass fragments seemed, to Coleman, to indicate a downward trajectory.

He suspects the rock may be a meteorite.

However, several state geologists examined digital photographs of one of the rocks and were persuaded it was a piece of a brick. They are “99 percent convinced” it is a fragment of an old hand-made brick, David Spears, state geologist, said in an e-mail to The Caroline Progress. “We are quite certain that is it not a meteor,” he added.

Coleman notified the sheriff’s office, but authorities told him there had been no reports of meteor activity in the region and referred him to the National Weather Service office in Wakefield. Weather service officials told him there had been no reports of meteor showers in the area.

Coleman spent a few minutes Thursday morning searching the area around his home. He found a second rock – the same size – that appears to be the same material as the rock he found in his home. He found the second rock about 10 feet from his house and about 30 feet to the side of the broken window.

He took the rocks to the Luck Stone quarry nearby, and a manager told him he had never seen any rocks like that before.