A mystery over widespread reports of lights in the sky over
southern Germany has been solved by the discovery of a
A Bavarian farmer's wife found a 3ft wide crater in her
vegetable patch with the meteorite lodged at the bottom.
Munich Institute for Geology experts estimate the meteorite
weighed over 100 kilos before hitting the atmosphere at speeds
of almost 125,000mph.
The rock is bigger than a tennis ball but can still be held in one
It is now at the institute of geology, where officials said it is
worth a lot more than the damage caused to the vegetable
The woman from Friesing took the blackened rock to the local
police station hoping if she reported it she might be eligible for
Although her insurance company have told her she is unlikely to
get cash for meteorite damage, she is likely to get a decent
reward from the scientists.
Police in Bavaria and neighbouring Austria were swamped with
calls from worried locals at the weekend. They reported seeing
the sky "lit up like daytime" and hearing a violent explosion.
The farmer's wife said she witnessed bright flashes of light and
heard a loud noise as she put her daughter to bed, but believed
it was youths causing a nuisance.
The Bavarian interior ministry says hundreds of worried people
called to report the UFOs, described as a series of flashes that
looked like lightning.
Story filed: 12:33 Tuesday 9th April 2002
Wed Aug 18, 8:09 AM ET
A scientist examines a meteorite that was discovered in a garden near Freising. (AFP/DDP/File)
Expert claims Bavarian meteorite
announcement was wrong
Friday 12th April 2002
A German scientist claims a supposed meteorite found after
strange lights were seen over Germany is just an ordinary rock.
The tennis ball-sized object was thought to be evidence of a
meteor strike in Bavaria.
But Dieter Heinlein says it was just slag material which is
common in the region.
However, he is sure meteorites did fall in the region that night
and is now searching for the evidence.
A farmer's wife said she found the rock in a 3ft wide crater in
her vegetable patch.
Officials from Munich's Institute for Geology told the media it
was a meteorite.
Dieter told Ananova: "I have seen about two dozen specimens
which have been brought by people who thought they had found
meteorites but no real meteorites have been found yet. It is not
easy to search for meteorites but we are hopeful."
He has spent 25 years studying and collecting space rocks and
has worked for Germany's space and aeronautics agency - the
Dieter is now locating the area in the Alpine foothills most likely
to have been hit by the meteorites. He said: "They are
interesting because they are extraterrestrial matter which can
tell us more about the origins of our solar system."
Dieter hopes to measure the radioactivity in the rocks, he said:
"The sooner we find them the better chance we have of
measuring the short-lived isotopes present in them."