Hunt is on for meteorite that could be worth millions

THE hunt is on. 

A Sunshine Coast meteorite collector is preparing to head to Gladstone, hot on the trail of the massive meteorite that hit the Gladstone region and was spotted over Bundaberg on Monday night. 

In an adventure that would make Indiana Jones jealous, Wappa Fall Observatory's Owen Bennedick says he will investigate any clues that could lead to the rock's location. 

"We've still got to do more research," he said. 

"But we will hunt for it or hunt for people who have seen it."

Mr Bennedick, who has been involved in astronomy for 56 years, said he began collecting meteorites about a decade ago. 

"I've got hundreds in my collection but I've only ever found one myself," he said.

"Most of the others have been bought or gifted to me."

"I've got a piece of the moon, a piece of mercury and diamonds from outer space."

Mr Bennedick believed Monday night's meteorite probably fell between Gladstone and Turkey Beach. 

"We still want to try to cut those areas down a bit," he said.

One of Owen Benedick's collection.
One of Owen Benedick's collection. Patrick Woods

"We won't really know but we'll keep plugging away."

Mr Bennedick said there were some tell tale signs in the search for the meteorite, which he believed would be larger than a basketball. 

If the meteorite went through trees, there should be signs of damage. 

If it fell on open ground, it would be a case of looking for a hole in the earth.

Mr Bennedick said the value of a meteorite could vary. 

One of Mr Benedick's collection.
One of Mr Benedick's collection. Patrick Woods

"They go by the gram," he said. 

"A friend of mine recently sold four little pieces about the size of fingernails to a museum for $114,000."

The pieces, he said, were found in Western Australia and had been part of the asteroid Vesta. 

"It depends on what they're made of," Mr Bennedick said. 

He said its shape and how it was carved out could also make a difference. 

At the end of the day, Mr Bennedick said the search for the rock wasn't about its dollar value, but about the scientific significance. 

"It's not the monetary value," he said.

"It's the collector's item value and the research value."

Mr Bennedick said when meteorites were found they were the property of the Queensland Government, and would often be studied and then returned to their finder. 

Mr Bennedick is calling for anyone who witnessed the meteorite to call him on 07 5446 7944 or 0427 467 944. 

He said he may be passing through the Bundaberg area in his mission to find the elusive rock. 

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