Rewritten from the Hammond Times Section A-5; Mon, Sept 19, 1966
Marion, Ind. (AP) - The giant meteor that exploded over the midwest apparently vaporized before it struck a farm field near here.
Experts hunted through a soy bean field all day Sunday without finding any trace of the meteorite particles and concluded that they probably never would.
Thousands of persons saw the flash of the meteor Saturday night as it disintgrated in a brilliant rain of fragments on Indiana, Michigan, and southern Ontario, Canada.
Dr. Newton G. Sprague, Associate Professor of Physics at Ball State University, searched the soybean field where an eye witness said a "fire ball as big as a barn" fell Saturday night.
"Fragments of the meteorite very likely fell around Marion," Dr. Sprague said, "but what most persons saw was a burining of ionized gasses, not a meteorite."
He added that "the meteor could have broken up into such small particles it would be like dust on your shirt." The day-long search centered on a 20 acre soybean field where Wayne Glassburn, 40, a farmer, said the meteor "lit up the sky with a ball of fire as large as a barn. It trailed to the ground with jagged edges and looked like a dragon spitting fire."
The light lasted about five seconds, he said.
There were no fires after the red glow disappeared. He reported hearing no sound.
"Meteors are normally accompanied by an explosion or whizzing noise." Dr. Sprague explained.
"If Mr. Glassburn heard no sound, it is possible it was further away than he thought."
But Glassburn said, "I know something's out in the soybean field. After everything quiets down, I may get my bearings and have a look for myself. The meteorite could be hidden by weeds."