Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Leslie Davis, of Natchez, holds what he believes to be a meteorite he found November of last year in the Kirby community.
Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Leslie Davis, of Natchez, holds what he believes to be a meteorite he found November of last year in the Kirby community.

Man finds possible meteorite on hunting trip

Published 12:10am Tuesday, August 20, 2013

NATCHEZ — Leslie Davis was looking for deer when he started out on a hunting trip last November, but what he found was a little out of this world — he thinks.

Davis was walking while deer hunting in Kirby in Franklin County when he saw smoke coming from a large hole in the ground.

“I knew exactly what it was,” he said.

Davis believes he found a meteorite, possibly from the 2012 Leonid meteor shower, and has spent the past nine months conducting research to find out exactly what he has.

The Leonids occur each year in mid-November and are bits of debris from Comet Tempel-Tuttle.  NASA astronomers say the comet visits the inner solar system, leaving a stream of debris in its path.

Each November, Earth’s orbit enters the path, causing the Leonid meteor shower.

Davis took the rock to the science department at Copiah-Lincoln Community College Monday to get a second opinion.

“Co-Lin said they aren’t advanced enough to break down the minerals, so it has to go to a university,” he said.

Co-Lin, Davis said, is in contact with Mississippi State University, where Davis would like to see the meteorite studied.

Davis handles the suspected space rock carefully has he lifts it from the boot box in which he carries.

“It has a mineral and a metal base,” he said, holding the craggy rock, which is a little smaller than a football. “It’s magnetic, too, you can stick magnets to it. And there is some kind of green mineral inside that you can kind of see. I would like to know what that is.”

Meteorites can go for hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on the Internet, but Davis said he will never sell his meteorite.

“It’s sentimental,” he said. “It’s something from outer space, and that’s the big question, ‘What is out there?’ Little pieces like this could help give more of the answers to that.”