voici l'histoire de leur chasse et quelques photos, avec l'accord de Luther :
Winchcombe story time…
On the evening of the 28th of February 2021, I saw a post about a bright fireball on a local Devon Facebook group I’m part of. A few quick searches then started displaying many more reports across social media, along with some amazing videos that I am sure you have all seen by now.
I messaged Martin and Graham saying ‘you better not be in bed!’ as I could tell that this could finally be the one we had been waiting for, and I wanted to discuss!
From the initial videos, it was obvious it travelled West to East, somewhere North of Bristol.
Collated eye witness reports over the following days resulted in the AMS plotting them and producing an initial trajectory line North of Cheltenham, we were getting closer..
I was desperate for reports of finds, to narrow down the possible fall area, so joined several local noticeboard groups in that area on Facebook – often good sources of gossip and local chatter.
On the 2nd of March, I found two separate mentions in one of these groups of ‘meteorites’ falling on drives in ‘The Hyde’ in Winchcombe. Something about the reports seemed to ring true, with them being described as ‘looked like lumps of coal or cinders’. I really wish now I had jumped in my car and headed straight there, as I probably would have been the first person to properly speak to the homeowners of what we know now to be the ‘Drive Smasher’. Lockdown put a stop to that though.
3rd of March, and we now possibly had a more refined area to work on, but the Winchcombe find was still only hearsay. Chris joined our discussions, and being that meteorite hunting is actually part of his range of jobs, he felt travelling to the area to start searching was valid, given that you can’t hunt from home! So off he went.
Over the following days,Jim Goodall released his initial strewn field predictions map, based on all the great videos of the event. This allowed us to narrow the line, and on the 6th I joined Chris for my first day in the field.
Martin was stuck at home, but went into action from a distance, sending out posters for garage and shop windows in the area, along with sending letters to households around Winchcombe. He also spoke on local Radio.
On the 8th (earlier than it should have but you can’t trust the press) the official news broke of the drive smasher in the Hyde, in a press release by the NHM and other scientific groups who had been in the area processing that find, and searching for others. Incredible news that not only was it the first new fall found in the UK for decades, but that it was possibly an extremely rare CM2 type!
This, and the articles also mentioning ‘other finds’ drove us on in our search. The beautiful sheep field find by the NHM team then confirmed the strewn field area maps were on-point.
After many dozens of pics of meteorwrongs, some amazing meteorwrongs found by ourselves (one which even trigged the find dance) false leads and endless discussions with locals and landowners, roll forward to today.
Between us, we have completed around 70 days of hunting (over half of that by Chris, the wild man of Winchcombe ;-)), it’s beautiful but not easy ground.
However, I can now announce that Chris has made three amazing finds, one of which I was lucky enough to be with him to make the discovery.
1st – 12g
2nd – 17.5g
3rd – 19.2g
I myself have also found a 5.2g specimen (broken on impact) which fulfilled a dream of mine, to find a meteorite in the UK – I could never have dreamt though that it would be a likely CM.
On top of this, we are aware of several other confirmed finds, but the stories of those are for others to tell when the time is right.
The delay in classification could be indicating that this is something other than just a CM. There is some suggestion that there is also CI material present in the samples, and from what we have seen that is certainly possible.
Enjoy the photos and videos below – there is much more to this story to be told in the future when time allows."