Museum Offering $25,000 to Whoever Locates Mysterious Meteorite

Clare Fitzgerald
Photo Credit: 1. HUM Images / Universal Images Group / Getty Images 2. Canva
Photo Credit: 1. HUM Images / Universal Images Group / Getty Images 2. Canva

Space fans and meteorite hunters, rejoice! At around midday on April 8, 2023, a meteorite flew across the sky in northern Maine and landed in a wooded area along the state’s border with Canada. Fragments have yet to be located, leading the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum in Bethel to offer a financial reward to anyone who locates a large enough piece.

Meteorite falling through the night sky
Meteorite traveling through the Earth’s atmosphere during the Leonid Meteor Shower, 2002. (Photo Credit: George Varros and Dr. Peter Jenniskens / NASA / Getty Images)

The flyover was confirmed by NASA, which cited eyewitness accounts of “a fireball that was bright even in midday, followed by loud sonic booms near Calais, Maine.” It’s likely the space rock broke into tiny pieces as it made its descent, meaning the debris field could be up to a mile-wide, between Waite, Maine and the Canadian border town of Canoose, New Brunswick.

Speaking with the Associated Press, Darryl Pitt, the chairman of the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum’s meteorite division, said the institution is willing to pay someone $25,000 if they turn in a one-kilogram (2.2 pound) piece of the meteorite – about the size of a softball.

Street sign reading "CANADA CUSTOMS"
Border crossing in Calais, Maine. (Photo Credit: Erin Clark / The Boston Globe / Getty Images)

While Pitt’s not certain a specimen that large is out there, he’s hoping to spread the word, saying, “With more people having an awareness, the more people will look – and the greater the likelihood of a recovery.” However, if there is one out there, meteorite hunters should be aware that they’ll have to contend with the Maine wilderness, which itself is not easy to tackle.

According to Pitt, the space rock would be distinguishable from its Earthly counterparts. Not only would its exterior be blackened, due to its traveling through the Earth’s atmosphere, its inside would be a different color. As well, it would attract magnets, due to its high iron content.

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Don’t worry, however, if you’re unable to find a one-kilogram specimen. Pitt has revealed the museum is willing to accept any and all pieces from the meteorite, saying they “could easily be worth their weight in gold.”


Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

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