Nininger Moment #15 The Plainview, Texas Fall Part 1

In 1915 a Texan sent a sample in to the Smithsonian Institution which turn out to be a new find. Up until that time only 22 meteorites had been found in the whole United States that had not been see to fall. The man was paid and asked to try to search the area for more stones. In the course of two years of hunting about a dozen stones were collected and sent into the Smithsonian with an average of five pounds. It was then concluded the collecting job was finished and a scientific paper was written up on the fall and the books were closed on it.

In 1928 Nininger asked Dr. Merrill about this find in Plainview, Texas which he had described about a decade ago. Dignified and scholarly, he gave Nininger the facts, talking to Nininger as a country school teacher might talk to a first grader. Nininger then asked if any further searches of the area were going to be conducted and he was told the job was finished and he judged it good and that any further searches would most likely not yield further material. Dr. Nininger then asked if he would care if he tried his hand at searching the area and he was offer no encouragement but told to help himself. Before going to the area, Nininger contacted some people in the area including the county surveyor who assured him he had been over ever square foot of the area and hadn’t come across any meteorites in some 40 years. Many of Nininger’s trips were done when two or more areas could be check out at once rather than making expensive trips one at a time. Such was the case for the Plainview area.

In December of 1933 Nininger and his brother John were returning from a search in Mexico for a possible 50 ton meteorite which turned out to be false as well as a dozen or other stories that turned out poorly. They neared the Plainview, Texas town near sundown. He told his brother that they would stay there that night but before retiring he would go out into the country side and find a meteorite. His brother looked at Harvey with real alarm after their thankless journey into Mexico with terrible food and water, insects, snakes and scorpions that had made their adventure into more of a nightmare. Plus they were returning broke.

After acquiring a hotel, Nininger and his brother drove into the country side and began knocking on farmers doors many times just as the men were returning from the field that day. After talking to some of the people at a couple of farm houses with no results but a possibility that some rocks had been seen like that, they stopped at a fourth farm house. The family were eating their evening meal by lamp light. This group treated Nininger coolly and with puzzlement. When Nininger felt the impatience was giving way to hostility he manage to tell them he would pay for such a stone at a dollar a pound. With the offer of money, the father jumped to his feet took the lantern and went out into the court yard with his eight year old daughter. They returned in a couple of minutes with an eight pound meteorite asking Nininger if this is what he was after. Nininger purchased the meteorite and asked if there might be more which the man assured him there were but would have to be looked for in the morning. Nininger then headed back to the car with the meteorite laying it in his brothers lap and stated they should return to their motel room.

Source: Find A Falling Star by H.H. Nininger

The Nininger Moments are articles or books written originally by Harvey Nininger and put into a consolidated form by Al Mitterling. Some of the items written in the moments might be old out dated material and the reader is advised to keep this in mind.

–AL Mitterling