AEROLITE METEORITES EXPEDITION SCRAPBOOK
Meteorite hunters and meteorite hunting
Photographs by Geoffrey Notkin except where noted
My adventure scrapbook is a collection of favorite images from many years of expeditions around the world and were taken with both digital and film cameras.

These pages are the result of tens of thousands of miles of travel, some of it hazardous, some of it exciting, but all of it with cameras in hand. I can be seen in many of these images, and those were taken with a tripod and timer, or by setting up a camera and asking an expedition partner to take the shot for me.

Many times, I had to put down a backpack or metal detector, pull a truck over to the side of a rocky track, or strip off some mosquito netting to take a picture. At those times — eager as I was to continue with the hunt — I had to force myself to stop and preserve a view, or an event, on film. These images are the progeny of those moments when I stopped to take a breath, and a picture.

Click on any image to enlarge

 

ARIZONA METEORITE HUNT
Summer 2009

After a long day of scouting and location filming for a new TV documentary about meteorite hunting, we parked our trucks on a hilltop and enjoyed a spectacular Arizona sunset.

Camera: Canon G9 


 

POPIGAI CRATER
Siberia expedition, summer 1999

On our fifth day inside the crater, a small team took one of the rafts and made a trip deeper into the crater to explore an outcrop of diamond-bearing tagamite (an impactite or meteoritic origin). The high cliffs at left are entirely composed of impact breccias.

Camera: Yashica T4 Super   


 

VACA MUERTA
Chile expedition, spring 1997

Perched on a battered Toyota parked atop a high ridge, our team surveyed the Vaca Muerta strewnfield with binoculars. We felt entirely alone in an empty world. It was beautifully remote and silent under an enamel-blue sky.

Camera: Yashica T4 Super   (Photo by Steve Arnold)


 

METEORITE MEN
Brenham, Kansas, fall 2008

With Steve Arnold and the 273-pound complete Brenham pallasite that we pulled out of the ground while filming the Science Channel pilot.

Camera: Canon G9   (Photo by Caroline Palmer)


 

METEOR CRATER
Coconino County, AZ, summer 1994

My first view of the magnificent but incorrectly* named Meteor Crater, near Winslow, Arizona. I have returned many times since that first visit. (*Craters are created by meteorites, not meteors)

Camera: Nikon FE


 

BUZZARD COULEE
Saskatchewan, Canada, April 2009

It may have said April on the calendar, but it was still winter in rural Saskatchewan. Beautiful fully crusted stone meteorites from the November 2008 fireball waited for us on the chilly ground.

Camera: Nikon N11  (Photo by Lisa Marie Morrison)


 

JURASSIC COAST
Dorset, England fossil hunt, spring 2002

Golden Cap is the highest point on England's south coast. It towers over wild beaches where the determined hunter can find some of the world's finest ammonite fossils.

Camera: Nikon FE


 

BRENHAM STREWNFIELD
Second Kansas hunt, spring 2006

Steve Arnold and Geoff Notkin with an 82-pound complete Brenham pallasite, immediately after they excavated it. The dig was filmed by the Travel Channel for their new adventure series The Best Places to Find Cash & Treasures.

Camera: Nikon 8700  (Photo by Sony Clary)


 

IMILAC STREWNFIELD
Chile expedition, spring 1997

In the heart of the Imilac strewnfield, hunting for pallasite meteorites. No roads, no trees, no cactus, no birds, no reptiles. Not even insects. The Atacama Desert is one of the driest places and most remote places on Earth.

Camera: Yashica T4 Super


 

HISTORY CHANNEL SHOOT
Pima County, AZ, summer 2008

Filming a meteorite hunting documentary for the History Channel with an Anglo/Canadian crew, and Aerolite team members Leigh Anne and Lisa Marie

Photo by Stu Jenks


 

ARCHES NATIONAL MONUMENT
Alamo Breccia expedition, spring 2001

Our team was given private access to Arches National Monument, Utah, and enjoyed an early morning guided tour by eminent geologist and impact specialist Walter Alvarez.

Camera: Yashica T4 Super 


 

KHATANGA OUTPOST
Siberia expedition, summer 1999

At a tiny airstrip in the largely abandoned Cold War-era Siberian outpost of Khatanga, our Russian Mi-8 helicopter was loaded, fueled, and prepped for our flight into the Popigai Crater.

Camera: Nikon FE  


 

GOLD BASIN
First Gold Basin hunt, winter 1998

Brilliant colors and striking clouds greeted us as we arrived at the Gold Basin strewnfield for the first time.

Camera: Nikon FE


 

POPIGAI CRATER
Siberia expedition, summer 1999

An old Russian army tent came with us in the helicopter. It doubled as mess tent and lecture room. Every evening, after dinner, we'd gather for a briefing on the next day's mission, followed by plenty of vodka and Russian brandy.

Camera: Nikon FE 


 

ATACAMA DESERT
Chile expedition, spring 1997

On the long road to Imilac, Steve and I often stopped to check our compasses and GPS against the frequently-incorrect road maps. Finding our way in the Atacama required a lot of guesswork.

Camera: Nikon FE


 

KRASNOJARSK
Siberia expedition, summer 1999

On our way to the Tamyr Peninsula and the Popigai Crater, we spent a few days in the Siberian capital of Krasnojarsk, and took a boat trip on the Jennesy River, passing close to the spot where Pallas discovered the world's first pallasite (Krasnojarsk)

Camera: Yashica T4 Super  


 

AMMONITE SPRINGS
English fossil hunt, fall 2000

Beautiful pearlescent fossil ammonites from the Jurassic period are found in a muddy stream in the English west country. The water was extremely cold and I wore heavy waders for nine hours.

Camera: Yashica T4


 

POPIGAI CRATER
Siberia expedition, summer 1999

During our raft trip through the crater we took a break on a beach of of river-polished pebbles that stretched as far as the eye could see. It was so remote I had the sense of standing in a spot where no other person had ever been.

Camera: Nikon FE 


 

TEMPIUTE MOUNTAIN
Alamo Breccia expedition, spring 2001

An international team of noted impact specialists assembled in Nevada, including Jay Melosh, Christian Koeberl, Victor Masiatis, and Matt Morgan. We were guided through the Alamo impact breccia sites by Professor John Warme, who had also been with me on the 1999 Siberia expedition.

Camera: Yashica T4 Super 


 

IMILAC STREWNFIELD
Chile expedition, spring 1997

We arrived at Imilac with only a few minutes to go before sunset. Even before we'd set up the tents, Steve and I had found our first small pallasites.

Camera: Yashica T4 Super


 

POPIGAI CRATER
Siberia expedition, summer 1999

Our cross-crater raft voyage was expected to take four or five hours. It took seventeen. The water level in the river was extremely low and we had to get out and drag the rafts for miles. When there was water, we all took turns rowing and punting.

Camera: Yashica T4 Super   (Photo by Jon Gallant)


 

IMILAC STREWNFIELD
Chile expedition, spring 1997

At 11,000 feet, the sun was extremely strong. We had to cover up and wear sunscreen to protect ourselves from UV light and the relentless wind.

Camera: Nikon FE


 

MARAK GHOST TOWN
Siberia expedition, summer 1999

On our way back to civilization after ten days inside the Popigai Crater, our helicopter made a risky landing atop a soggy hill surrounded by swamps. We hiked some distance in order to visit the Siberian ghost town of Marak.

Camera: Yashica T4 Super  



The Aerolite Meteorites Expedition Scrapbook features original photography by Geoffrey Notkin.
All images are © by Geoffrey Notkin and Aerolite Meteorites except as noted.
All rights reserved. No reproduction without written permission. Copyright is strictly enforced.