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Kansas meteorite featured on TV show Sunday
[May 08, 2009]

Kansas meteorite featured on TV show Sunday

May 08, 2009 (The Wichita Eagle - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Nearly four years ago in a flat wheat field in western Kansas, former Wichitan Steve Arnold found a 1,400-pound meteorite.

The search and discovery is one of the subjects of an hourlong special that premieres at 8 p.m. Sunday on the Science Channel.

In November 2005, Arnold joined science writer and meteorite collector Geoffrey Notkin in searching Kiowa County's Brenham Township.

Meteorites are the stone remnants of shooting stars that make it to the Earth's surface.

The meteorites of Kiowa County are internationally known for their gemlike crystals, which look almost like stained glass when cut.

Most likely the Brenham meteorite fell on the Kansas prairie centuries ago, scattering tons of fragments.

With four-wheel-drive trucks, all-terrain vehicles and giant metal detectors, Arnold and Notkin combed the Kansas wheat field where the meteorite was discovered seven feet underground.

Arnold said Thursday that "Meteorite Men" is an action/adventure pilot program designed to be either a stand-alone show or one of many.

"If the ratings are good and the network likes it, it will be an ongoing program," he said.

Viewers will learn more about the Kansas Brenham meteorites. Prehistoric Indians used the rust-colored stones as sacred objects and made them into earrings, knives, chisels and even buttons and beads.

In the 1920s and 1930s, one of the world's foremost meteorite hunters, Harvey H. Nininger, examined a large depression that locals thought was a buffalo wallow. It turned out to be an impact crater.

Last October, Arnold and Notkin filmed the Kansas portion of the show. Other segments were filmed in Arizona, including the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University.

"It is a fun and adventurous show," Arnold said.

Since his find in the fall of 2005, Arnold said he has sold his interest in the Brenham meteorite and gone on to another significant meteorite find, which he will disclose during Sunday's show.

"It was very substantial, a more substantial find than even my large meteorite in Brenham," Arnold said.

The cable show airs locally on Cox cable channel 102, channel 630 for high definition, at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or

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