A GLENROTHES man has put up a £20,000 reward for anyone who can lead him to the meteorite that was seen over Scotland recently.
Renowned collector and meteorite expert, Rob Elliot from Milton of Balgonie is hoping the substantial cash sum will be just the incentive that will lead him to finding the meteorite ahead of other UK collectors.
The huge fireball was witnessed by hundreds of people from as far apart as the Western Isles of Scotland and Essex in the South of England as it travelled across the night sky on the evening of Saturday, March, 3.
Until experts have fully worked out the trajectory, collectors and scientists are unsure of the final landing site of the meteorite that came crashing to earth at a speed of twenty miles per second.
Rob has already had a sizeable reaction from the general public to his cash reward and is confident he can find the space rock ahead of his rivals.
He told the Gazette: “I’ve had a good number of leads from people who’ve phoned and emailed me and I’m pretty hopeful that I can find something.
“But I tell them not to exaggerate, just tell me what they really saw, if they come up with a story that a piece of glowing red hot rock landed in their garden like something out of the movies, I’m pretty sure it’s not a lead.
“If anything, a meteorite would actually be too cold to pick up if it landed in your garden right now.
“I anticipate the meteorite to have been the size of a large briefcase that will have been the fireball that was spotted in the night sky as it entered the earth’s atmosphere.
“As it continued to burn up, it will have showered smaller pieces that would range from the size of a pea to others the size of, say, a melon, if I can’t find the main part of the meteorite, I’m at least anticipating coming across one of the smaller pieces.”
The 50-year-old collector recently scooped £58,000 when he auctioned off some of his collection that included a meteorite, part of which was owned by the late pop star, Michael Jackson.
He is currently filming a pilot TV documentary about his meteorite hunting exploits in which he will be joined by fellow collector and expert, Gregory Wilson who is travelling in especially from Hawaii.
Rob has also just produced a fascinating six minute film with the help of Fife TV company, Channel Fife explaining the recent meteorite sighting how to easily identify a meteorite from space should you come across one.
It can be viewed at: www.tinyurl.com/ukfireball