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Sighting Reports 2007

Mysterious Metallic Debris Found That Fell From Space

Two Photos Taken of Metallic Debris

Map Showing Location of Dunlap, Tennessee
Dunlap is in Southeastern Tennessee About 30 MI N of Chattanooga

Date of Sighting: Unknown. (Debris Found in 2001 or 2002)
Time of Sighting: Unknown
Location of Sighting: Debris Was Found in Dunlap, Tennessee (See Map)
Latitude: 35.37 Degrees North
Longitude: 85.39 Degrees West
Number of Witnesses: Debris Found By Coal Mine Owner

Description: A phone call was received from a retired law enforcement officer who collects meteorites and fossils. He was seeking advice on analysis of suspected space debris that he received from a friend. He stated that the debris was found by a friend who is owner of a coal mine near Dunlap, Tennessee. The debris was found embedded in the backyard of the coal mine owner's home. The mine owner's wife found the debris. The coal mine owner then asked his meteorite collector friend's advice on what the rock (debris) could be. The rock was shown to a scientist at the University of Tennessee (Physics Department). Analysis by the University of Tennessee revealed that the object was "pure metallic silica." The scientist showed the object to colleagues. The consensus among colleagues was that the object was a meteorite that came from the breakup of a satellite or a "space ship." One faculty colleague remarked: "I am pretty sure that it is pure metallic Silicon and that it's a piece of space debris from satellite or space ship."  A former NASA engineer and employee of Lockheed Martin "Skunkworks" (friend of fossil collector) said: HE KNEW OF NOTHING THAT WOULD BE THAT LARGE FROM ANY OF OUR SPACE CRAFT AND DOUBTED THAT IT COULD HAVE POSSIBLY CAME FROM A SATELLITE. The object is roughly 5 by 6 by 6 inches and weighs 4.5 pounds. The object repels heat and can be heated by a "butane torch" and then applied to one's cheek. (It only warms slightly, but does not burn the subject.)

Investigator's Notes: We don't know for sure if the object actually fell from the sky, but given that it was found embedded in the ground this is quite likely. No one actually saw the object coming down. We also don't know exactly when the object was found. The person who found it says that the object was found in 1989. The grandson of the finder says the object was found in 1991. The person in custody of the object broke off a piece of the above debris and sent to me. He had to use a large hammer to break off the piece. I immediately tested for radiation and magnetism and found no radiation above background (alpha, beta, or gamma) and the object was not magnetic. I contacted a reputable laboratory for further analysis. The intent is to determine if the object is from a manufactured process and if the manufactured process is known. The results of the laboratory analysis indicate that the sample is mostly silicon with some very small metallic content and not from any unusual manufacturing process. The sample was subjected to X-ray diffraction and energy dispersive X-ray Fluorescence tests. Click here to read the full laboratory report (PDF 220K).