Jul 31, 2016 11:59 AM

Berlin man says he found fragment of May meteor

BERLIN - A local man said he has found a piece of a meteor that exploded May 17.

Mark Baillargeon told the Berlin Reporter that after witnessing the explosion, he calculated where he thought fragments may have landed. He searched several times before finding a ¾-pound chunk he believes came from the meteor. He said he found the fragment in the vicinity of Boundary Bald Mountain in Somerset County, Maine.

The explosion was visible from much of the Northeast, and The America Meteor Society received about 700 reports for people, including those in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, who heard the boom.

The explosion of the meteor is said to have occurred about 18.6 miles west of Rangeley, Maine.

Scientists have disagreed on whether fragments of the meteor made it to earth or burned up in the Earth's atmosphere.

Baillargeon said he performed some tests of his own and believes the fragment is genuine.

The Maine Mineral and Gem Museum offered a $20,000 award for the first verified I kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) of meteorite found. Once verified, it will be honored and displayed in the museum's Meteorite Hall.

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