Meteorite? Mud? Mysterious rock crash lands in B.C. man’s pool

Click to play video: 'Mystery object lands in Delta, B.C. swimming pool'
Mystery object lands in Delta, B.C. swimming pool
WATCH: A Delta man thinks something from out of this world landed in his pool on Monday, and he's determined to get to the bottom of it. The homeowner says the situation is extraordinary, but as Grace Ke reports, experts say: it's not likely extraterrestrial – Jun 6, 2023

Delta, B.C., resident Justin Broad was enjoying some early morning fresh air Monday when he saw something splash into his pool.

“I was kind of stunned and just kind of studying it for a little while,” Broad told Global News.

He said the object had already started to disintegrate in the water.

“It didn’t cloud up and dissipate. It just dropped to the shallow end right at the bottom in a ball,” Broad added.

He said it was like seeing a black lightning bolt hit his pool, followed by a huge splash.

“I assumed it was a meteor, (a) little meteor sample,” Broad said.

He decided to wake up his wife and tell her what happened and they decided to drain the pool to get to the material.

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“We called our pool guy who got the pump out here, started pumping it out, and around two in the afternoon yesterday, we videotaped the whole procedure and then we got down to about six inches of water,” Broad said. “And I stopped at that point because it’s so windy, I was worried that it was going to push this stuff all over the place.”

He then went into the pool and carefully scooped the material out so that it could dry.

Click to play video: 'Dazzling meteor captures the attention of people in the Pacific Northwest'
Dazzling meteor captures the attention of people in the Pacific Northwest

Broad said the material is interesting because they could see small crystals among the sediment.

“It’s just very, very interesting. Probably a one-in-a-million find, you know.”

He said if he hadn’t seen the object splash into the pool, he would have assumed it was just mud.

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In 2021, Golden resident Ruth Hamilton was asleep in her bed when she was awoken by her dog barking, the sound of a crash through her ceiling and the feeling of debris on her face.

She said she jumped out of bed and turned on the light to figure out what had happened, and discovered a hole in her ceiling.

“I’ve never been so scared in my life,” she said of the Oct. 3 incident. “I wasn’t sure what to do so I called 911 and, when I was speaking with the operator, I flipped over my pillow and saw that a rock had slipped between two pillows.”

They concluded it must have been a fragment from a meteor shower that took place earlier that night.

Click to play video: 'Meteor lights up sky over parts of Vancouver Island'
Meteor lights up sky over parts of Vancouver Island

Alan Hildebrand, associate professor in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Calgary and a planetary scientist, told Global News that based on the pictures, he does not think what hit Broad’s pool was a meteorite.

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“The dry picture particularly I mean, I agree it looks like dried mud, but the dried mud is brown,” he said. “So if it was an unusual type of meteorite, what we call a carbonaceous chondrite, we’d be expecting it to be black or dark grey. So. So it looks indeed like mud from this planet.”

Hildebrand said if it was a meteorite it would not dissolve in the pool water. He said some unusual meteorites are made of clay minerals but they have carbon inside so they look black or dark grey.

“And because they’re made out of clay, they do disintegrate in the water like this object did,” he added. “But it’d be a different colour. And of course, what we think of clay or mud on the earth, it’s usually brown. So I think this fits the bill.”

Broad said he would just be happy to know where the object came from.

“I would really be curious to know, at least we have closure where it came from, I mean, and scientifically to explain how it turned from a solid into a sediment just like that,” he said.

Hildebrand said the department does get quite a few inquiries about objects that fall from the sky and people wonder what they are but few are usually real meteorites.

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He said some people are quite disappointed to find out it’s not rock from space and they come to the university to look.

“So when they come, you know, we can show them what real meteorites look like. So you can see the differences between their rock and the real meteorites.”

Hildebrand said iron meteorites look like lumps of iron, stone meteorites have black or dark grey crusts on them and carbonaceous chondrites are black.

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