By Bill Hirst
Each year tens of thousands of meteorites hit the earth. They are worth big dollars to the finders. In fact, they are worth more than gold. You might say they are black gold. This is your chance to find one. You also will be able to say that you have entered the Twilight Zone.
Did you ever go on a strange vacation? Well, this one is out of this world. When you come to Truth or Consequences to see the new space station that will launch tourists into space, do a little walking to find space junk…meteorites on our ranch. Hunting for meteorites does not have to be a bone-chilling adventure to the Antarctic where the temperature is 50 below zero F and 50 miles per hour winds. Meteors enter the earth atmosphere everywhere. They impact everywhere. The trick in finding them is to look where they have had a good chance of impacting or where they have been concentrated by natural forces of the earth and have not been destroyed by weathering.
This means deserts are a good place to search for meteorites. Deserts can change over the centuries. But deserts don’t always have major weathering. Thus if you want to find meteorites you may want to come to our Truth or Consequences Ranch. It is located in New Mexico adjacent to the Chihuahuan Desert. There are trillions and trillions of terrestrial rocks for each meteorite that could be in this area. Metal detectors are used by many professional meteorite hunters around the world. Metal detectors can easily distinguish between ferrous and non-ferrous rocks. Since not all meteorites are ferrous only the ferrous meteorites will be found by the metal detector. Modern metal detectors can balance out dominant background rocks. This enhances the detector to find the meteorites. Metal detectors create a constant hum. The volume and pitch of this hum increases as the detector passes over the metallic object. There are hot rocks which produce a signal but is a false positive. Thus detecting requires concentration and you will see lots and lots of hot rocks.
You must also keep a visual eye for other interesting rocks which can be meteorites. It seems that the best way to find meteorites from this area is to use a combination of metal detecting and good old-fashioned shoe-leather foot searching. The weather is not hard to predict for the Truth or Consequences area. Don’t bother to bring a raincoat, it only rains 10″ per year. The winters are mild as it is Southern New Mexico. It could get to 10F, but not for many days of the year. A clear sky with a gentle breeze is the norm.
You can see Bill’s website for unusual travelers at http://www.huntingrelics.com
©2005 Bill Hirst, updated April 2018, updated December 2020.