Maine Museum Offers Reward for Piece of Fireball

The fireball streaked across the New England sky early Tuesday

A museum in Maine is offering a $20,000 reward for a piece of a fireball that shot through the sky this week.

Video of the fireball which was seen streaking across the New England sky early Tuesday morning, 

has now been viewed more than a million times, but so far, no one has seen the actual meteorite that may have landed in Maine.

A brilliant flash of light that appears to be a meteoroid was captured on a dash camera on a Portland Police cruiser early Tuesday morning, and security cameras from across New England have similar video of the fireball.

Based on the trajectory of the meteor, scientists believe a meteorite could have landed in near Rangeley, Maine. Now, the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum in Bethel wants a piece of it.

"This is an exciting opportunity and we need the public's help," said museum Director Barbra Barrett.

The museum has issued a $20,000 reward for the first person to produce a piece of the meteorite at least one kilogram in size.

"Meteorites have the potential to inform us about how the initial solar system was formed," said museum Curator Carl Francis.

The MMGM is set to open in the Spring of 2017, and they already have quite a collection of meteorites, including a piece of one that famously fell in Russia three years ago, and was captured on camera.

"A new meteorite is just exciting," said Francis.

They're asking people to look about 30 kilometers west of Rangeley.

"The chances of finding a meteorite are very slim," said mineral hunter Zoltan Matolcsy, who owns Maine Mineral Adventures in Woodstock, Maine.

He advised people use a metal detector, magnet, and GPS when searching for one.

"I would say your chances of winning Megabucks is probably a lot better," he laughed. But his wife, and business partner Jody said she might be willing to search, and get that reward.

"I mean if it's out here, I'll be out here looking!" she said. "The more people who are looking, the better!"

The Maine Mineral & Gem Museum "will exhibit the most spectacular minerals and gems ever mined in Maine," according to a news release, along with a meteorite collection. It is involved in an ownership battle over a gold-flecked meteorite discovered in China about 15 years ago.

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