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Nininger Moment #16 The Planeview, Texas Fall Part 2

Harvey Nininger continued his search for specimens the next day after his successful purchase of the 8 pound stone. He and his brother continued hunting for specimens at farm houses and by the days end had over 26 specimens from the area weighing 152 pounds. He paid for these by check that he planned to cover with a note before they reached Denver.

One elderly gentleman used one of the stones to give his bull an attitude adjustment when the bull would go on a rampage. He would use the fist size specimen to subdue the bull. At one well cultivated farm Harvey and his brother talked to a farmer’s wife who was suspicious of their visit until Nininger showed her some specimens from the area and asked if she might have some on the farm in which he would pay a dollar a pound to acquire. She later brought two specimens they had used on the pork barrel covered with about a 1/4 inch of salt. She also brought three more stones to Nininger and he paid her for the five stones. She told Nininger that it was more than they had made off the farm the past year. During that time both the depression and poor conditions of the crops due to the dust bowl hurt many a farmer in 1933.

One farm house was vacant but Nininger hunted around finding a number of stones in which he picked up and took to the car. At the next farm house he inquired who owned the property so he could settle up with the owner for the rocks he had taken. The farmer they talked to just told them to take the rocks but Nininger asked the owners name who lived in town and later in the evening hunted him down to settle up. The owner looked skeptical at Nininger with his arm full of rocks and told him he had gathered the stones from his farm and they were of course his stones but he would pay a dollar a pound as he had paid his neighbors for similar stones. The the owner tried to just give the specimens to Harvey, but Nininger hoped that the farmers would look for more stones and sell them to him on future trips there or send them on to him for payment. A check was written for $28.00 dollars to the owner of the farm, making it possible for his wife to buy a new Christmas dress.

Many of the stones were purchased just before Christmas of that year no doubt making for many a good Christmas that year for the people of Plainview, Texas area in which he had purchased stones. As Nininger and his brother headed towards home they stopped at the Pasamonte Ranch in New Mexico and bought the first stone from the then nine month old witnessed fireball. Nininger had successfully turned a bad trip into a good one by the trips end by checking out two of the places he thought might yield meteorites.

The campaign at Plainview, Texas was the beginning of what would be an enormously successful campaign that would yield over 900 meteorites in a 15 year period of time even though Nininger had been assured no other specimens would probably be found in the area. Also Nininger looked over all specimens found carefully as he was very much aware that other falls might be represented in the Plainview strewnfield a 16 mile long by 4 mile wide strewnfield. At least three and possibly four new stones from different falls were recognized in the Plainview strewnfield.

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

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