The Smithsonian confirmed it: What one man in Grand Rapids, Mich., man used as a doorstop for years is a meteorite thought to be worth $100,000. That it was a meteorite was apparently known to him: The Detroit Free Press reports the unnamed man bought an Edmore-area farm in 1988, and the 22.5-pound hunk was apparently being used as a doorstop in a shed on the property; the owner told him it was a meteorite from the '30s. And there it sat for some time, until the meteorite's new owner moved and took it with him. Then came a Jan. 17 meteor sighting over the state that spurred hunters to look for remnants—and prodded the man to get his checked out by Mona Sirbescu at Central Michigan University.
In a press release, the geology professor says she's been asked to do similar evaluations many times, and jokes that "for 18 years, the answer has been categorically 'no'—meteor wrongs, not meteorites." This time wasn't like all the others: "It's the most valuable specimen I have ever held in my life, monetarily and scientifically," she says of the iron-nickel meteorite. It's the sixth-largest on record in the state (this biggest is 113.9 pounds) and has been verified by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, which is reportedly interested in buying it. (This man had a knack for finding meteorites. Then things got crazy.)