Many people get to see meteorites burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere at least several times
in their lives but few have the chance to see a meteorite up close. And then there are those
who’ve had enough luck (or bad luck) to have their lives changed by a meteorite falling
from the sky. Nearly thirty years ago, there was a strange and fascinating incident like that
in Peekskill, New York.
Before 1992, only a few meteorites burning in the sky had been caught on film. However,
on October 9 th that year, the fall of a meteorite in Peekskill was filmed by a large number
of cameras. Since it was a Friday afternoon, many high school students were attending
a local football game and were able to film the fall of the meteorite. At least 16 of them recorded
the meteorite as it fell from the sky like a green fireball.
When it fell to Earth, still burning, it hit the car of Michelle Knapp, who was 18 years old
at the time. Michelle’s parents had bought a second-hand Chevrolet for $300 a few weeks
earlier and they had given it to her on her 18th
birthday. When the meteorite hit, her beloved
car was parked in her driveway and Michelle was watching TV in her bedroom. She was
surprised by an extremely loud noise in her front yard and ran out to see what had happened.
She thought that there had been a traffic accident in front of her house.
Instead, she saw something that almost gave her a heart attack. A meteorite had hit the back
of her Chevrolet, gone through her car and landed on the ground below it. Michelle couldn’t
believe her eyes. She realized that her car had just been hit by a meteorite that had fallen from
Although Michelle’s $300 Chevrolet had been destroyed, she soon realized that the meteorite
was a business opportunity. In the following days, she sold the damaged car for $10,000
to Iris Lang, wife of the well-known meteorite collector Al Lang. Museums from all over
the world borrowed the car from Al Lang to put it on display. Michelle decided to break
the meteorite into pieces and got $25,000 for each of them from three different private buyers.
adapted from www.thevintagenews.com