The following is my email correspondence with Dr. Paul Warren of UCLA regarding my 2000 Dec 16 "meteor-wrong FIND(?)":
----- Original Message ----- From: "Robert Verish" <
To: "Paul Warren" <
Cc: "Alan Rubin" <
Sent: Monday, December 18, 2000 10:42 PM
Subject: Not all fusion-crusted finds are meteorites

Dear Paul,
When we last met, you made the comment that these recent "questionable finds" that I've been bringing to you would be easier to identify as being meteoritic, if I were "to find them with a fusion crust". Well, I made a find this weekend, and it has a "fusion crust", but this "stone" is very, VERY unlikely to be a meteorite. Whatever this "stone" turns out to be, it clearly exhibits evidence of having experienced an incendiary phase while falling through the atmosphere, yet it is probably man-made, since it looks like no form of asteroidal debris that I have ever seen.
I would be interested in your opinion, particularly before this specimen is cut, because in its current state it represents, to me, the finest example of a meteor-wrong mimicking a meteorite.

Until I bring this specimen down to UCLA, Have a Happy Holiday!

Bob V.

P.S. - Here are some images of my "meteor-wrong FIND(?)".
This one shows its general ORIENTED shape:


This one shows the FUSION CRUST:


This one shows FLOW-LIPPING of the "fusion crust" as it accumulates on the back side of the "oriented" mass:


The "fusion crust" exhibits CONTRACTION CRACKS:


The back side of the "oriented" mass is not crusted over and exhibits small, spheroidal pseudo-CHONDRULES:


This is the URL for a directory containing additional images:


Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 16:47:59 -0800 (PST)
From: Robert Verish <>
Subject: Re: Not all fusion-crusted finds are meteorites
To: Paul Warren <>

--- Paul Warren <> wrote:
> Bob,
>    I saw the pictures. The stone looks weird, all
> right. The odds are always in favor of terrestrial 
> provenance, and I presume you know that desert 
> varnish can sometimes do a mighty impressive 
> imitation of fusion crust.

Yes, this is very true.  In fact, I have some excellent examples of desert varnish in my meteor-wrong collection.

> However, I don't see why you are so positive it can't 
> be a meteorite.
> Is it magnetic?  

No magnetic attraction can be discerned.

> How does its density compare with typical terrestrial 
> rock such as granite?

Nearly half that of non-porous terrestrial granitic rock. (My main counter-indication.)
> The only counter-indication I saw was the contraction cracks 
> (I've never heard of such a thing on a true meteorite, 
> although that does not necessarily rule it out). 

Please excuse my terminology.  There must be a better term for what I'm trying to describe, 
because I've seen these "cracks" exhibited in many different meteorites. 
(But come to think of it, I can only remember seeing it in small chondritic stones.)

Here's one of my first introductions to this phenomenon of "contraction cracks"
- Lucerne Valley 014 (L5):

Here's LV 010 (H4):

Here's Muroc Dry Lake (L6):

Here's Muroc (L5):

NOTE:  The last time that I thought I had found a piece of partially burnt model rocket propellant, 
but turned out to be a chondrite, was the LL6 known as
Lucerne Valley 015 ;-)

>    Happy Holidays!
>    Paul

Have a Happy One, yourself!
Bob V.