Meteorite’s fall recalled

It was August 12, 1979, when diamond-driller Rejeen Falardeau, of Sudbury, Ontario, witnessed the event of a lifetime while working on the west side of the Purcell mountains.

  • Jul. 19, 2011 8:00 a.m.
Rejeen Falardeau

Rejeen Falardeau

It was August 12, 1979, when diamond-driller Rejeen Falardeau, of Sudbury, Ontario, witnessed the event of a lifetime while working on the west side of the Purcell mountains.

Falardeau looked up from his work to see a meteorite plummeting from the sky on that sunny Sunday morning.

“It was falling at an almost 45 degree angle,” said Falardeau. “You could not have had a better view.”

When Falardeau first saw the meteorite, he described it as being “huge, like a high-rise building”.

But by the time it crashed into the mountain’s glacier, it had shrunk to about a “two floors building”.

It had missed Falardeau by a couple thousand feet which, if the meteorite had not burned down in size, could have still spelled a close call.

“I went down to see it, but I didn’t want to break it,” said Falardeau.

“I was impressed. I was the only one who had seen it.”

Falardeau went home, but returned the next year to begin drilling the discovered stone, since he has yet to inspire the attention of scientists, geologists and the like with his story.

“I’m doing it by myself,” said Falardeau, who has been diamond drilling for over 30 years. “I’m scared of getting ripped off as well.”

This year marks Falardeau’s fourth year returning to the impact location to continue his work.

Falardeau hopes to uncover valuable minerals, metals and the like within the meteorite to present to geologists and other experts in good time.

Falardeau also hopes that with the work still in process, he may also uncover other surprises around the impact spot and glacier, such as frozen fossils or other interesting finds.