1997 : Meteorite Leaves Hole in Garage Roof and Car

September 1, 2023 all-day

Numerous individuals in south-central Michigan reported a daylight meteor on September 1, 1997.

Many more reported loud sounds, resembling sonic booms or thunder.  One eyewitness reported “a brilliant burning in the sky, as bright as any arc welder” lasting approximately 10 seconds.

Mr. Duane Foster of Northeast Washtenaw County, Michigan (near Worden) was working in his backyard with his sons.  They heard a sound like distant thunder.  A few moments later they heard a whistling sound passing overhead, followed by a boom and crash.  Thinking that a car had left the road in the front of the house, they ran up the hill to the side year opposite the garage.  Seeing no car they entered the garage to find it full of plaster dust, and pieces of drywall and insulation.  They then noticed that the roof of the son’s car was dented and there was a slice or hole in the ceiling over the driver’s seat.  Then they saw a rock and 2 chips on the cement floor of the garage, near the car.  It was not warm when picked up, only a few moments after hearing the noise of impact.

The whole in the roof.  Photograph from the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History.

The roof of the car.


Michael A. Vebel et al., “The Worden Meteorite: A New Ordinary Chrondite Fall from Michigan, USA“, Meteorite and Planetary Science 37 (Supplement) B25-29 (2002).

Mark Torregrossa, “Michigan is no stranger to meteorites with biggest over 100 pounds“, MLive, January 26, 2018.

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