Meteorite Hunter Gets His Due

He finds fame, maybe fortune, by digging through dust
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2007 1:17 PM CDT
Allen Binford, left, and meteorite hunter Steve Arnold right, stand with a 1400-pound meteorite that was discovered on Binford's farm, early in November, 2005, by Arnold in Haviland, Kansas. It could...   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – He’s not exactly Indiana Jones, but Steve Arnold does have fame, wild adventures, and an 18-foot-wide metal detector. Arnold, a meteorite hunter, has combed the deserts of Chile, the tundras of Siberia, and the streets of Chicago looking for the extraterrestrial lumps of metal, the LA Times reports. His hard work may pay off handsomely tomorrow when NYC's Bonhams Gallery hosts the first all-meteorite auction.

While digging in Oman, Arnold caught the eye of authorities. He hid his findings in the desert, retrieved them the next day, and fled the country. His biggest hit came in 2005, when he unearthed a 1,400-pound chunk of a rare meteorite type that’s valued near $1 million. But for every meteorite, he finds about 30 clunkers he calls “meteorwrongs.”