Meteorite found in Çorum on sale
Farmer Mutlu Yılmaz, who found a meteorite last year in his field in the Central Anatolian province of Çorum’s Alaca district, wants to sell it now. The 68-kg meteorite is the third largest in Turkey and was named “Gerdekkaya” in literature.
Last year in April, Yılmaz tried to remove a big rock in his field but couldn’t because it was too heavy. After seeing that the rock looked unusual, Yılmaz took it to his home with the help of his neighbors.
Yılmaz sent a piece of the rock, which was grey in color, to a university in the U.S. for examination with the help of a relative. After an examination, the rock turned out to be a meteorite. Then he stored the rock in a bank vault.
Provincial Culture and Tourism Directorate officials got in touch with Yılmaz and asked to display the meteorite in the museum.
The meteorite was on display at the Çorum Museum for one and a half month and it was reported that the meteorite had 12 elements, being the third largest one found in Turkey.
An information text titled “messengers of space” was also put in the section where the meteorite, which is estimated to be at least 4,000 years old, was on display. After being visited by some 4,000 people in the museum, the meteorite was returned to Yılmaz.
Stating that the issue came up again after the news that a flash of light across the sky over northeastern Turkey this week was caused by a “burning meteor” crashing into Earth, Yılmaz said, “I can suggest to people who are looking for and will find this rock that this new rock may be black or red. The first thing they should do when they find it is to try to hold the rock with a magnet. If the magnet is holding, then they can cut a small piece of it. They can wet the rock with 12 pieces of cotton with cologne. If it leaves a charcoal color in the 12 cotton pieces, it may be a meteorite.”
He said that it is very important to get a certificate for the rock, adding, “They can apply to Trakya University, Ege University or the Mineral Research and Exploration Institute to get a certificate. They can get analysis here by just sending a six-gram piece of the stone. No need to cut very large pieces.”
Stating that he wants to sell the meteorite, Yılmaz said, “We were offered $68,000 by a person in Russia. But at that time, people misled us saying that it should be more expensive, and we did not sell it. We have recently been offered $8,000, but we did not accept it.”
This week the footage of a fireball landing was recorded on security cameras in many Turkish provinces, including Sivas, Bingöl, Trabzon and Artvin. The footages show the meteorite quickly coming into the shot as a bright light careens towards the Earth at the same moment it was violently torn apart.
“This is a typical meteor crash; in fact, it may have been shaking in some places,” said Ozan Ünalan, a scientist from Ege University, adding there was no need to panic.