Devoted to the recovery, study, and preservation of new meteorite finds.

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Meteorite Ownership


Meteorites that fall on private property.  In the United States, meteorites that fall on private property belong to the landowner.  Contrary to common misconception, no government agency will attempt to confiscate your meteorite and you are free to keep or sell it.  Many landowners are happy to donate specimens (or portions of them) to universities and museums, and such generosity makes meteorites available to the research community.

 

If a meteorite hunter wishes to search private land, he or she must obtain permission from the landowner.  It is customary to work out mutually-beneficial agreements in which the hunter and landowner both benefit from any meteorite discoveries.  For example, the hunter may pay landowners a set price (per pound) for any meteorites discovered.  Alternatively, the hunter and landowner may agree to split any meteorite finds.  Meteorite recovery is an expertise that requires experience, great persistence, and often specialized equipment such as customized metal detectors.  Therefore, meteorite recovery statistics improve greatly when experienced meteorite hunters assist in the effort.

 

Meteorites that have fallen on public lands.  Meteorites that have fallen on public lands are subject to restrictions with respect to removal and subsequent sale.  In the United States, public lands include the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.  Meteorites collected on federal lands may not be sold or bartered, and scientifically important samples are subject to confiscation by federal agencies.  The 6,000 pound "Old Woman" meteorite, discovered by prospectors on BLM land, was claimed by the US National Museum.

 

 

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