Crater Hunt Is Launched

The Edmonton Journal
Saturday, April 17, 1965


An aerial survey has been launched in the Shuswap Lake area of British Columbia for a crater believed carved by a meteorite more than two weeks ago.

Dr. John Galt, director of the Dominion Observatory here, spent 2 1/2 hours in a helicopter Friday, criss-crossing the area but saw nothing that resembled a crater.

Dr. Edward Argyle, astronomer at the observatory, said however, it is believed that the March 31 fireball, seen in various parts of B.C. and Alberta, and accompanied by loud explosions and the shattering of windows in some areas, exploded in the earth's atmosphere with the force of a small atomic bomb.

"Based on considerable evidence from eye-witness accounts," he said, "I believe the meteor was very large and broke up at an altitude of five miles. The descriptions indicate to me the meteor was crushed by atmospheric pressure and it was fragmented into tens of thousands of pieces, the largest of which became a white-hot meteorite on its own."


He said a seismometer at a weapons establishment at Suffield, Alta., recorded a shock caused by the meteor to equal the explosive force of 75 tons of TNT. Suffield authorities thought the shock was caused by the meteorite striking the ground.

"But if my hypothesis is correct, there must have been a tremendous release of energy at an altitude of five miles, something of the order of an atomic explosion," said Dr. Argyle.

A metallic fragment found near Kamloops and sent to Ottawa for testing, had been sent on the Smithsonian Institute in Cambridge, Mass., which has the best testing equipment."


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