Franconia, Sacramento Wash, Yucca, Buck Mountains, Palo Verde Mine, Powell Peak, Boulder Mine
Franconia, south side of I-40 looking east.
The Franconia story is complex and still unfolding. The area has been designated a Dense Collection Area due to the many different meteorites that have been found there. I’m not going to pretend to understand it and attempt to explain it all here but there are overlapping strewn fields of H and L chondrites, and most intriguing, the HH metal meteorites that were liberated from the H chondrite body. Basically you have Franconia, Sacramento Wash, Yucca, Buck Mountains, Palo Verde Mine, and not far away, the Powell Peak area that includes Powell Peak, Boulder Mine and some other finds. There are probably other meteorites that don’t pair to any of these.
Part of the Franconia story that is seldom mentioned is the fact that Mike Miller was “discovering” the north side almost simultaneously. John Wolfe found a large stone on the south side of I-40, Bob Verish got involved and the rest is history. Jim Smaller made his impact, other hunters and players are Sonny Clary, Ruben Garcia, Todd Parker, Larry Sloan, John Gwilliam, Dennis Wells, the list goes on. Later on Jim Wooddell organized a concerted effort to make sense of the place, and a whole new generation of hunters recovered and documented many more hundreds of stones. It was during this time of Wooddell’s activity that the DCA’s in the area were designated.
I encourage the reader to investigate the story further and go online. Bob Verish and others have had a lot to say about this amazing, Cosmic place!
A couple good places to start;
Basic informationName: Franconia
This is an OFFICIAL meteorite name.
Abbreviation: There is no official abbreviation for this meteorite.
Observed fall: No
Year found: 2002
Country: United States
Mass: 100 kg
Meteoritical Bulletin: MB 88 (2004) H5
MetBase: v. 7.1 (2006) H5
This is 1 of 8554 approved meteorites (plus 11 unapproved names) classified as H5. [show all]
Search for other: H chondrites (type 4-7), Ordinary chondrites (type 4-7), H chondrites, and Ordinary chondrites
Origin or pseudonym:dry wash
Date:31 Oct 2002
Classifier:A. Rubin, UCLA
Type spec mass (g):26.4
Type spec location:UCLA
Comments:Fe-Ni veins w. metallic Cu
and collectionsUCLA: Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567, United States (institutional address; updated 17 Oct 2011)
Verish: Robert Verish, Meteorite-Recovery Lab, P.O. Box 463084, Escondido, CA 92046, United States; Website (private address; updated 27 May 2009)
References:Published in Meteoritical Bulletin, no. 88, MAPS 39, A215-A272 (2004)
Find references in NASA ADS:
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I was a late comer to the Franconia strewn field. I missed an early opportunity when I saw this older gentleman at the Gem and Mineral show in Tucson showing Edwin Thompson a meteorite he found. I later found out it was dubbed the “Superbowl” meteorite because it was found on Superbowl Sunday. The gentleman that found it was Larry Sloan, someone I would later be fortunate enough to become good friends with. This wasn’t the first stone found at Franconia, that honor goes to the late John Wolfe, or Mike Miller, but it was found early enough that if I had been paying attention, I could have gotten in on the action a lot earlier! I can’t beat myself up too bad, I did okay. I never found any of the big ones but I did find three of the L chondrites, a few hundred H stones 200 grams or less, and over a hundred of the HH metal irons, like this world class contender here!
38 gram SaW 005 This is the 4th or 5th largest HH metal meteorite found to date, worldwide.
When I saw it on the ground I thought it was a chondrite, then I picked it up and knew right away that it was an iron. I had found over a hundred of the little irons out there, this one was overdue and hard won.
There is a small piece of the chondritic body stuck to it on the left end.
The first time I went to Franconia I wasted three days in the wrong area. All I found was spent brass from early military exercises. The late Jim Smaller put me in touch with Dennis Wells. He was kind enough to come out and get me going in the right direction and he wasted no time showing me exactly what I was looking for!
Dennis Wells finds a nice chunk!
Dennis with his find.
Overlapping strewn fields. L chondrite on the left, H on the right.
Scott and Terri Johnson found this beautiful meteorite on the south side. Terri was on the back of the quad and saw the stone. She told Scott to stop for the “Pretty rock”!
Classification is complete! Cascadia says H4 S2 W1 . Nice work guys!
Scott cut one of the fragments of the 7 pounder while I was there.
Greg, that’s not it, a little more to the right!
Greg Stanley’s 300 gram find, nice.
I scored another!
My friend Darryl Landry from Michigan finds his first meteorite!
and another one
These two were some feet apart and fit together. I found them at night heading back to the truck .
Left to right, Karl Aston, Moni Waiblinger and Bob Verish, Greg Stanley, Larry Atkins, and Tim Glidewell. Darryl Landry is taking the photograph.