Record Unit 548, National Museum of Natural History Division of Meteorites Folder: Australia - Miscellaneous

ID: SIA2015-000265 through SIA2015-000333

Creator: National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Division of Meteorites

Form/Genre: Paper

Date: 1976-1977

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 548, Box 1, Folder: Australia - Miscellaneous

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Summary

Folder contains correspondence records of the National Museum of Natural History's Division of Meteorites from 1976-1977. All letters in the folder are either to or from correspondents from Australia. The letters discuss topics including: specimen identifications, specimen requests, meteor showers, and professional trips and conferences.

Author

National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Division of Meteorites

Subject

  • Clarke, Roy S., Jr
  • Mason, Brian Harold 1917-
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Dept. of Mineral Sciences

Category

Historic Images of the Smithsonian

Notes

This is a folder level cataloged record. The folder is part of Record Unit 548.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 548, Box 1, Folder: Australia - Miscellaneous

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu

Date

1976-1977

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions

Topic

  • Letters
  • International correspondence
  • Meteorites
  • Meteors

Place

Australia

Form/Genre

Paper

ID Number

SIA2015-000265 through SIA2015-000333

Physical description

Number of Documents: 54; Color: Black and White and Color; Type of Image: Document; Medium: Paper

Full Record

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July 12, 1977 AIRMAIL Professor D.A. Brown Geology Dept., ANU P.O. Box 4 Canberra, A.C.T., Australia 2600 Dear Dave, I regret to say that my proposed trip in August with the overhauled Land Rover is no longer feasible. Virginia was in the hospital recently for an operation to clear a partial blockage in a neck artery. Although she is convalescing well and hopes to be back at work soon, I think it would be inadvisable for me to be away on a lengthy journey in the near future. I am now hoping to make the trip in May next year. So if the Land Rover is in running order I shall be glad if it can be operated occasionally to keep it working. Please let me know what the overhaul has cost and I will send you a check. Virginia joins me in regards and best wishes to Pat and yourself. Yours ever, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/ks
May 6, 1977 AIRMAIL Professor D.A. Brown Geology Dept., ANU P.O. Box 4 Canberra, A.C.T., Australia 2600 Dear Dave, I am returning herewith the manuscript by George Gibbons "Index of Australian Meteorites" which I have studied with much interest. The meat is in the alphabetical list (p. 6-13), and the maps;this is a very useful compilation, and I think worthy of publication in the [[underlined]] J. Geol. Soc. Aust. [[/underlined]] The section "Synonyms and Pairs" (p. 14-19) adds little value, and could be omitted. The alphabetical list would be much more useful with a more detailed characterization than simply iron, stony-iron, stone; I have taken the liberty of adding the characterization from my 1975 publication, a copy of which is enclosed for the author. In the tables to Figs. 1 and 3 I have noted minor corrections; these could be handled as footnotes to avoid the necessity of renumbering. I'm still hoping to get to Canberra in August and make a trip with the Land Rover to revisit some australite localities, but plans are not yet firm. Regards and best wishes. Yours ever, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences Enclosure BM/ks
February 18, 1977 AIRMAIL Professor D.A. Brown Geology Dept., ANU P.O. Box 4 Canberra, A.C.T. 2600, Australia Dear Dave, I'm contemplating another trip to Australia, to look into some of the problems of australite distribution that came out of being a co-author on "Occurrence, distribution, and age of Australian tektites" by Chalmers, Henderson and Mason (you should have received a copy from Ollie Chalmers, if not ask him for one). The trip would probably be in June-July this year, and quite likely continued in future years. Now the question: can the Land Rover be put in good running order, and if so, what would the overhaul cost? From my point of view, I could afford to invest several hundred dollars in the vehicle if it could be made roadworthy. As I recall, the winch has been removed; it need not be replaced. The water tank is rusted out; replacement of that is optional, depending on cost. The steering mechanism is pretty worn and needs overhaul. In all events, I shall be glad if you can arrange to have the vehicle looked at, and let me know the results. As you have no doubt read in your papers, we have been enjoying (?) the coldest winter in many years. The Potomac is frozen from bank to bank, much to the delight of the skating fraternity. Actually, the weather here, though cold, has not been really unpleasant, being dry and sunny most days. Regards and best wishes to Pat and yourself. Yours ever, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/ks
January 28, 1977 AIRMAIL Dr. W. Compston Research School of Earth Sciences, ANU Canberra, A.C.T. 2600, Australia Dear Bill, I was interested to get your letter of January 20 and learn of your proposed work on possible variations of the isotopic composition of Ti in the Allende meteorite. However, your request for "a chunk of Allende, [[underlined]] at least [[/underlined]] several hundred grams [[underlined]] and with abundant inclusions" [[/underlined]] puts me on the spot; if there were such a chunk in our collection it would have been broken up long ago to satisfy the many requests we have received for such material. No chunk of Allende has abundant inclusions; some appear to have more than others, but selection of these is a chancy business at best. I recently spent several days working through our Allende material searching for inclusions for Ross Taylor to analyse; I found 18 in all, and sent ~100 mg samples of them to him. I suggest you examine these (if they have not already been crushed) and note any that might be suitable for your project; if you send me the sample numbers, I may have sufficient material remaining to send you some. It appears to me that the only material suitable for your needs are the coarse-grained melilite-pyroxene-spinel-anorthite chondrules. These usually contain 10-20% pyroxene, so to get the 10 mg pyroxene for your measurement, you will need at least 100 mg of starting material. I presume you plan to hand-pick the pyroxene; if contamination is not a problem, I would suggest heavy-liquid separation (the pyroxene is slightly denser than pure CH2I2, and the melilite and anorthite much less dense), and/or chemical separation (pyroxene is insoluble in HC1, melilite and anorthite dissolve readily). Rather than send you a chunk of Allende I think it might be preferable to try to find you 200 mg fragments of several melilite-pyroxene chondrules from among our material. However, if you feel that you would rather proceed as outlined in your letter, I will try to find you some suitable material. Would you be agreeable to accepting several chunks with a total weight of several hundred grams, rather than a single piece? With best regards, Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/ks
February 11, 1977 Dr. W. Compston Research School of Earth Sciences, ANU P.O. Box 4 Canberra, A.C.T. 2600, Australia Dear Bill, Thank you for your letter of February 4. I am glad to learn that some of the samples I selected for Ross Taylor can be used in your project. It is difficult to judge which of them are likely to contain the most pyroxene, but I would recommend that you select from among the following: 3529-Y, 3529-Z, 3529-21, 3655A, 3682, 3529-41, 3529-42. For several of these I have additional material which I can supply if you need it. On looking through my Allende material I find I have some separated pyroxene. This material was analyzed and described by Mason and Martin, EPSL Vol. 22, p. 141, 1974. I am enclosing a vial with 74 mg of this pyroxene (it has a moderate amount of admixed spinel). You are welcome to use this for your work if it is suitable; if not, please return it to me. I don't plan to be at the Lunar Science Conference in March. However, if I can help you at all, please phone me at 202-381-5314. With best regards. Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences Enclosure BM/ks
February 17, 1977 AIRMAIL Mr. M.J. Fitzgerald Geology Dept. University of Adelaide Adelaide, S. Australia 5001 Dear Mr. Fitzgerald, In reply to your letter of February 4, my memory regarding the Yandama meteorite is now somewhat rusty. However, my recollection is that we were informed that the location "Big Plain" mentioned in Alderman's account, originally on Yandama station, is now part of Lake Stewart station. We went to Lake Stewart station and were directed to an area about 7 miles west of the homestead (it is a big plain, with a few low sand ridges). We searched for a day, as far west as the border fence, without finding anything. Incidentally, if this is the correct locality, then the latitude is 29°20', rather than the 29°45' sometimes quoted. With best regards. Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/ks
May 23, 1977 Dr. G.S. Gibbons Dept. of Applied Geology NSW Institute of Technology P.O. Box 123 Broadway, NSW 2007, Australia Dear George, Thank you for your letter of May 5. I am glad to learn that Oliver Chalmers has stimulated you to a sustained interest in meteorites. The editor of the JGSA sent me your manuscript on the meteorites of Australia, which I returned with the recommendation that it be published. As regards your list, I think if you include Korrelocking you should note that this identification rests solely on an entry in Coulson's catalog of meteorites; it has never appeared in any Australian list; also the coordinates in Hey are wrong, because the only Korrelocking in WA is a railway siding near Bencubbin (I passed through Korrelocking in 1963 and inquired about a possible meteorite find, but no one knew of it). As far as I know, all the Cockburn meteorites have been found in NSW; the name Cockburn was attached to them because Cockburn was the nearest named place on most maps. The coordinates I gave for it are those of the place where I found it (and where Jim Johnson found the original specimen). I have read your manuscript "Implications of meteorite arrival times" with much interest. However, since it is somewhat beyond my area of expertise, I am sending it to Dr. George Wetherill. He is very interested in this field, and may wish to comment directly to you on the manuscript. I would think [[underlined]] Meteoritics [[/underlined]] would be suitable journal to submit it to. With best regards. Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences cc: Dr. George Wetherill BM/ks
March 24, 1977 Dr. E.D. Gill 1/47 Wattle Valley Road Canterbury, Victoria Australia 3126 Dear Ed, This monograph on occurrence, distribution, and age of Australian tektites has stimulated a spirited response from Bill Glass. I enclose the copy of a MS he has submitted to Bull. Geol. Soc. America, and our tentative reply. I would welcome any comments or suggestions you care to make. In addition, I would like to draw on your knowledge of Australian Pleistocene stratigraphy to ask whether it is possible, within the australite strewnfield, to identify strata at about the 700,000 year BP horizon that Bill Glass invokes as the ultimate source of the australites. If this horizon could be identified and shown not to contain australites (or microtektites), this might help to convince Dr. Glass and others of the fallibility of their arguments. With best regards. Sincerely yours, Brain Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences Enclosures BM/ks
August 24, 1977 AIRMAIL Mr. Robert M. Grant P.O. Box 98 Lakes Entrance Victoria, Australia 3909 Dear Mr. Grant, In reply to your letter of August 6, I enclose a note prepared by the Smithsonian Institution Scientific Event Alert Network regarding the Madagascar meteorite. No further information has come to hand since this note was prepared. We have a limited number of copies of our publications on meteorites and related subjects available for free distribution to interested persons. I am sending you complimentary copies of our recent publications by surface mail. Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences Enclosure BM/ks
(Handwritten) (Fele?) (psa?) AIRMAIL May 6, 1977 Dr. Chris M. Gray La Toobe University Department of Geology Bundorra, Australia 3083 Dear Dr. Gray: Almost a year ago Brian Mason passed on to me a letter of yours requesting a specimen of the Norton County meteorite for Rb-Sr determinations. I am sorry for the delay, and it is my fault, not Brian's. Do you still want a sample of Norton County? If you do, I would suggest that you write Klaus Keil, Director, The Institute of Meteoritics, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106. The Institute has over a ton of this meteorite, and Keil should be in the best position to see that you get clean material. The only way I could assure clean material is to take our exhibit specimen from the case and break material off of it for your work. I am reluctant to do this. The small amount of Norton County material we have in our research collections does not seem to me to be desirable for your work. The pieces are all small, they have been handled, and they have catalog numbers painted on them. If Keil can not satisfy your requirements, however, I will try and help you from our collection. Sincerely, Roy S. Clarke, Jr. Curator Division of Meteorites RSC/cab
La Trobe University Department of Geology Bundoora / Victoria / Australia 3083 Telephone 478 3122 24th May, 1976 Dr. B. Mason, Curator, Department of Mineral Sciences, National Museum of Natural History, [[underline]] WASHINGTON [[/underline]], D.C. 20560, U.S.A. Dear Brian, I share your reluctance to dismember Peña Blanca Spring and rather than have you do that will attempt to obtain samples of other enstatite achondrites. The reason for dating it, aside from a desire to do as many enstatite achondrites as possible, was to allow a double comparison of Rb-Sr and I-Xe results with Bishopville (these are the only two falls with I-Xe ages). I was aware that Peña Blanca Spring fell into a swimming pool and had considerable misgivings about possible contamination, but considered the I-Xe comparison worth the risk. It would be greatly appreciated if you could provide a sample of [[underline]] Norton County [[/underline]] as I have unsuccessfully applied to the Arizona State University for a specimen. We have prepared Cumberland Falls from the A.N.U. collection for analysis so that hopefully there will be three ages for comparison. Yours sincerely, Chris Gray [[underline]] Chris M. Gray [[/underline]]
La Trobe University Department of Geology Bundoora / Victoria / Australia 3083 Telephone 478 3122 14th April, 1976. Dr. B. Mason, Department of Mineral Sciences, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, [[underline]] WASHINGTON [[/underline]], D.C. 20560. Dear Brian, Bill Compston and I have started a Rb-Sr dating project on enstatite achondrites at the A.N.U. by redetermining Bishopville. I would be very grateful if you could provide us with a sample of Pena Blanca Spring for dating or suggest a source. Pena Blanca Spring would give a better base for interpreting the complicated Bishopville data and allow a further comparison with I-Xe results. We require an absolutely clean 5 g chip for mineral separation and this would be best achieved if you could supply an 8 to 10 g fragment freshly broken from an interior surface. Contamination is the bugbear as usual, so that a broken fragment is superior to a sawn one. Given the 10 g chip we would then strip it to 5 g in the clean room at A.N.U. Yours sincerely, Chris Gray [[underline]]Chris Gray[[/underline]]
[[top left]][[underlined]]AIRMAIL[[/underlined]] Dr. C. Gray, Geology Dept., La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia 3083. Dear Chris, I reply to your letter of April 14, let me give you a little background on the Pena Blanca Spring meteorite. It fell in a waterhole (used locally as a swimming pool) on a ranch in west Texas in 1946. The ranch owner has never been willing to part with it, and the main masses are I believe stored in a closet in his home in San Antonio. Our 400-gram piece seems to be the largest fragment in a museum. [[strikeout]]To provide you with a 10-gram interior piece would involve breaking up the entire specimen, and this we are most reluctant to do. Why must you use Pena Blanca Spring in your projected research? If all you need is a second enstatite achondrite, Norton County would be a natural. I think we could supply you with a 10-gram internal fragment from this meteorite; Sincerely yours,
July 26, 1977 AIRMAIL Mr. D.R. Gregg Director, Tasmanian Museum G.P.O. Box 1164M Hobart, Australia 7001 Dear Don, Thank you very much for your letter of July 21. I greatly appreciate your efforts on my behalf in trying to locate Tasmanian tektites; I am somewhat dismayed at their evident rarity. Thank you for the offer of the loan of your three specimens for non-destructive examination; however, I will not take up the offer at this time. For my investigation I really need ten or more specimens, preferably from a single locality, to explore the range of composition. If you succeedd in acquiring the collection of the proppector from Port Davey, I would be keenly interested in examining it. With best regards. Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/ks
June 20, 1977 AIRMAIL Mr. D.R. Gregg Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery GPO Box 1164M Hobart, Tas., Australia 7001 Dear Don, I am writing to solicit your aid in a current research project of mine. I am making an extensive survey of the variations in chemical composition of australites, both within single localities and between geographic regions. I have ample collections from the mainland but nothing from Tasmania. If you have a collection of Tasmanian australites in your museum (not Darwin glass, I have plenty of that), could I borrow it in whole or part for non-destructive examination-density determination of individual specimens? This will indicate the range of composition represented. I may then ask permission to make polished thin sections from individual specimens, which could be quantitatively analyzed with the microprobe. Hope all goes well with you. Regards and best wishes. Sincerely, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/ks
[[University Seal]] Monash University CLAYTON VICTORIA AUSTRALIA 3168 TELEPHONE: 03 544 0811 TELEGRAMS: Monashuni Melbourne TELEX: MONLIB. 31729 DEPARTMENT OF MATERIALS ENGINEERING Chairman: Professor I. J. Polmear 21 September 1977 Dr. Roy S. Clarke Jr., Curator, Division of Meteorites, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, [[underline]]WASHINGTON[[underline]], D.C. 20560 United States of America. Dear Dr. Clarke, Thank you for your letter of September 9th, and comments on the USNM collection of IVB meteorites. I appreciate your point about the exhibit specimens of Ternera and Iquique, it would be a pity to take samples from such specimens. I agree with you that Weaver Mountains may only duplicate my results on Tawallah Valley, a better approach at this time would seem to be to examine specimens which are obviously different from those I have already investigated. It may be possible to borrow Weaver Mountains and Skookum Gulch later for a purely optical examination. With sincere thanks, Yours, [[signed]]RJago[[signed]] [[underline]]Richard A. Jago.[[underline]]
AIRMAIL Dr. Richard A. Jago Dept. of Materials Engineering Monash University Clayton, Victoria, 3168 Australia Dear Dr. Jago: Your letters of June 15 and August 8, 1977 to Brian Mason have been referred to me for reply. Your letter of August 8 actually arrived here several days ahead of your letter of June 15. I am returning the envelope used for the earlier letter, as it may interest you. It was sent surface mail as printed matter. I have looked over our specimens to IVB meteorites with a view to supplying material for your research. The following notes give my initial reactions, but I will be glad to hear from you further on these. Under separate cover you are being sent a small slice of our Hoba specimen USNM 3390. You may remove a small amount of this specimen for your work, as described in your letter. One surface of this piece before it was sliced looked like it may have been removed from the main mass by an oxy-acetylene torch. Buchwald saw this sample and did not report heat alteration. You might want to polish the surface and examine it optically before you take your samples for TEM. We have only one small polished section of Ternera, and I would be reluctant to have that used for sampling for destructive analysis. I notice that there is also a small sample at UCLA. Perhaps John Wasson would be willing to part with a small amount for your work. We have only one small polished section and an exhibit specimen of Iquique. I am reluctant to disturb the exhibit without exceedingly strong justification. Perhaps you could find some other source for this meteorite. Our slice of Tlacotepec is large, but it is also an exhibit specimen. We have none of this meteorite in our research collection. We have a 60g slice of Weaver Mountains (USNM-3145) that could be lent to you for sampling purposes should you be interested. It may just duplicate Tawallah Valley, however.
-2- Our sample of Skookum Gulch (Klondike) could also be made available to you. I would doubt if you wanted it however, as Buchwald reports that it has been heated to over 900[[degree symbol]]C. I will be looking forward to learning more of your interesting work. When the shipment is received, please date, sign, and return the white copy of the invoice to the Office of the Registrar. Sincerely, Roy S. Clarke, Jr. Curator Division of Meteorites Enclosures RSC/ks [[handwritten]]SEPT. 2, 1977[[handwritten]]
July 6, 1977 AIRMAIL Mr. J.E. Johnson Geology Department South Australian Museum North Terrace Adelaide, S. Australia 5000 Dear Jim, Thank you for your letter of June 23. The information you provide will be most useful in tracking down the australites with unusual compositions. We have adequate collections from the Charlotte Waters-Abminga region, so I do not need to trouble Miss Scrymgour for these. I hope to be in Australia in October and if I am anywhere near Adelaide I will certainly try to look you up. With best regards, Sincerely, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/ks
June 6, 1977 AIRMAIL Mr. J.E. Johnson Mineral Dept. South Australian Museum North Terrace Adelaide, Australia 5000 Dear Jim, I am currently studying the variation in composition of australites at specific locations and across the strewnfield as a whole. The technique I am using is to cut a small slice from each australite, make a polished thin section, and analyze a number of spots, thereby arriving at an average composition. There are two problems for which I need material not available in our collection; these being the geographical extent of the HMg and HAl australites of Chapman. According to Chapman, HMg australites are found at Lake Wilson, Serpentine Lakes, and Lake Margareta. The ones I collected at Mt. Davies are HMg, and presumably the ones at Wingellina also. Australites from near Wiluna, those near Ooldea, and those around Charlotte Waters are normal compositions. Could you supply any australites from within the Wiluna-Ooldea-Charlotte Waters triangle that might serve to delineate the HMg field more precisely? The HAl australites seem to be confined to NSW; the only ones I have analyzed are from Pindera, near Tibooburra. If you have any from locations in western or central NSW, I would welcome the opportunity to analyze them. Since the procedure involves cutting a section, australite fragments rather than good forms are preferable. With best regards. Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/ks
January 27, 1977 AIRMAIL Mr. J.E. Johnson Mineral Dept. South Australian Museum North Terrace Adelaide, S. Australia 5000 Dear Jim, Thank you for your letter of January 21. I am glad to know you have received a copy of our australite monograph. As you say, one of the important problems that requires further investigation is the extent and significance of the gaps within the strewnfield, particulary the one extending from Eyre Peninsula over much of the western half of South Australia. Is this because of insufficient searching, or non exposure of the australite horizon, or because they never fell there? We did very little looking in this region, except on the Nullarbor Plain from Ooldea westwards (australites widespread, but generally in smal numbers at any one locality), and along the S.A.-N.T. border, the area you know well. We spent a few days around Woomera and Andamooka in 1964, finding only one australite (on Andamooka Island, and it could have been abo-transported). Michael Mudie of Arcoona had a collection of about 50 australites he had picked up on the station over a number of years. (This collection is an important one and should be preserved in a museum; perhaps you could arrange to get it for the S.A. Museum.) In 1965 I spent a few days around Kingoonya and Tarcoola, going as far NW as Commonwealth Hill; nobody I talked to knew of australites in that region, and I didn't find any,although in some areas the geology looked favorable. I drove about 100 miles west along the railway line from Tarcoola towards Ooldea, but beyond Wynbring the country is covered with thick sand and the australite horizon is probably deeply duried. We are enjoying (?) the coldest winter I can remember since I came to the U.S. thirty years ago. Since Xmas the thermometer has seldom risen above the freezing point even at midday. The Potomac River is solidly frozen from bank to bank. It makes me nostalgic for the Australian outback. I'm still interested in the many problems posed by the australites, and hope to come back and work some of them from time to time.
-2- With warmest regards and best wishes. Sincerely, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences P.S. One reason why we did little work north of the Trans railway line was that we could not get permits to enter the missile range. Did any of the missile range patrol officers ever see or collect australites?
September 14, 1977 AIRMAIL Professor J.B. Jones Geology Department University of Adelaide G.P.O. Box 498 Adelaide, S. Australia 5001 Dear John, Thank you for your letter of September 8. I am glad to learn that Mr. Fitzgerald is preparing a comprehensive description of the Muckera meteorite, and I understand your reluctance to release material until his research is completed. However, we certainly would like to have this meteorite represented in our collection, and welcome your suggestion of an eventual exchange. With best regards. Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences
August 30, 1977 AIRMAIL Dr. J.B. Jones Geology Department University of Adelaide Adelaide, S. Australia 5001 Dear Dr. Jones, I notice in the recently-published appendix to the British Museum Catalogue of Meteorites that your department has an undescribed howardite named Muckera. I am preparing a review article on eucrites and howardites, and would like to examine as many of them as possible. If you can send me a small piece of Muckera, sufficient for a thin section, I shall be most grateful. What plans do you have for the description of this meteorite? If it has not been chemically analysed, we would be willing to do this in our laboratory. With best regards. Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/ks
#325355 February 25, 1977 Dr. John K. Ling, Director South Australian Museum North Terrace Adelaide South Australia 5000 Dear Dr. Ling, Mr. R. Bruce Wilson has written that he accepts our offer of a specimen of the Woodbine, Illinois, meteorite. A copy of his letter and my response is enclosed. I believe that this will close the matter as far as we are concerned. You will see that I have asked Mr. Wilson to send the specimen to you for registration. I hope he will do this, but I do not feel that I am now in a position to insist. Sincerely, Roy S. Clarke, Jr. Curator Division of Meteorites Enclosure RSC/cab
#325355 February 3, 1977 Dr. John K. Ling, Director South Australian Museum North Terrace Adelaide South Australia 5000 Dear Dr. Ling, Thank you for your letter of January 27, 1977. I can understand that the copy of my letter to Mr. R. B. Wilson came as something of a surprise to you. His letter of February 18, 1976,certainly came as a surprise to me. If you have not already received it, I believe that you will receive a copy of a similar letter to Mr. Wilson from Dr. A. C. Bishop, Keeper of Mineralogy, the British Museum. We have been keeping in close contact on this matter. The copy of Mr. Wilson's February 18, 1976 letter to me that you requested is enclosed. Mr. Wilson and I have been corresponding about the Mundrabilla meteorite since late 1967. I believe that I can understand some of the difficulties you may be experiencing. It is too late for me to consider sending the Woodbine meteorite to Mr. Wilson through you. The specimen went out at the same time as my letter. I have heard nothing from Mr. Wilson yet and am in no position to predict what his reaction will be. If he accepts my proposal, I will suggest that as a courtesy he send the sample to you for registration. and return to him. In any event, I will let you know what conclusion we reach. Please let me know if I can be of further help to you. Sincerely, Roy S. Clarke, Jr. Curator Division of Meteorites RSC/cab
June 30, 1977 AIRMAIL Mr. D. McColl Bureau of Mineral Resources P.O. Box 378 Canberra City, A.C.T., Australia 2601 Dear Don, Thank you for your letter of June 7. With respect to the Broken Hill meteorites, I hope to visit Canberra some time during the next twelve months, and would be glad to look at the sections at that time. If there are any that you feel that the need of my opinion, by all means send them to me. I am interested to learn that you will be making a renewed excavation at the Browns deposit this year. We would certainly like to have a suite of specimens from this deposit for the mineral collection. The most convenient way to shipp specimens is by parcel post addressed Dept. of Mineral Sciences, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560, ATTN: Dr. B. Mason. However, if the shipment is too large for parcel post, then it can be sent ocean freight according to the enclosed instructions. With best regards. Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences Enclosure BM/ks
June 6, 1977 AIRMAIL Mr. D. McColl Bureau of Mineral Resources P.O. Box 378 Canberra City, A.C.T., Australia 2601 Dear Don, Some years ago you loaned me a collection of 15 australites from Lake Disappointment (24*32'S, 125*13'E). Indetermined their densities and then returned them to you. I am now studying the variation in composition of australites at specific locations, by taking a small slice from each specimen, making a polished thin section, and analyzing it with the microprobe. If you still have the collection (or can obtain it) I would like to borrow the ones circled on the accompanying list for this purpose. With best regards. Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences Enclosure BM/ks
March 14, 1977 Airmail Mr. D.H. McColl Bureau of Mineral Resources P.O. Box 378 Canberra City, A.C.T., Australia 2601 Dear Don, Thank you for your letter of March 8. It is unfortunate that your collection of Broken Hill meteorites is so poorly localized, but that cannot be helped at this stage. My offer to help in sorting them out still stands; even in extremely weathered stones the olivine and pyroxene generally retain their original composition, and hence can be used to classify them. As I mentioned in my previous letter, we would need to have fragments or small slices 1-2 cm across to make probe thin sections, which we mount on 1" diameter glass discs. I would like to have a copy of your list of weights, dimensions, and specific gravities, and the location diagram. As far as the Deniliquin meteorite of 1973 is concerned, my impression of the probably area of fall (based on observers's recollection of time interval between light and sound effects) is indicated on your map, essentially just east of Wakool. Oliver Chalmers was also in the field with us, and may have additional information. We spoke to the children at Wakool School and explained the importance of the meteorite, asking them to send any information to the Australian Museum. With best regards, Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/ks
January 31, 1977 AIRMAIL Mr. D. H. McColl P.O. Box 34 Chifley, A.C.T. 2606 Australia Dear Don, I was glad to get your letter of January 25 and to learn that you are applying for a Churchill Fellowship. I agree that an overseas study trip would be highly advantageous both for you and for future museum development in Australia. I shall certainly provide a strong recommendation to the Churchill Memorial Trust, and hope to have the pleasure of a visit from you some time in 1978. Your collection of 53 stony meteorite from the Broken Hill area sound most interesting, and I would certainly welcome the opportunity of examining as many of them as you can spare samples. If you can provide me with fragments of thin slices 1-2 cm across I would have polished thin sections made, from which we can readily obtain microprobe analyses of the minerals and a classification based on mineralogy and texture. If you have a map showing the distribution of the individual meteorites, I would be interested in seeing it. My work with Oliver Chalmers and Ed Henderson on australites was recently published as a Smithsonian monograph. Ollie is taking care of its distribution within Australia, and I presume he has sent you a copy. If not, you could drop him a card and ask for one. With warmest regards and best wishes to your family and yourself. Sincerely, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/ks
March 9, 1977 AIRMAIL The Publications Officer Minerals Research Laboratories P.O. Box 136 North Ryde, N.S.W. Australia 2113 Dear Sir, I shall be glad if you will send me one copy of the following publications from your List No. 4, November 1976: MRA/134, MRC/83, MRE/33, MRA/133, MRF/31, MRA/197. Thanking you in advance. Very truly yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/ks
March 28, 1977 Airmail Mrs. P. Muir Research School of Earth Sciences Australian National University P.O. Box 4 Canberra, A.C.T., Australia 2600 Dear Pat, Thank your for your recent letter. I'm glad to hear the analyses of the Allende inclusions are progressing. Ross called me from Houston during the Lunar Science Conference (I was too tied up here in Washington to attend) and we discussed the work, and he has also send me the major-element analyses, which I am studying at the moment. I am hoping to get to Australia later this year, mainly because of the need to do some more field work on the australite problem, but I would certainly plan to spend some time in Canberra also. I am interested to learn that you will be visiting Menlo Park in May. I don't expect to be on the west coast at that time, but will keep it in mind. The job situation in this country is quite tight at the present time (we have two post-doctoral fellows in this department who have nothing lined up after their fellowships expire, despite a lot of searching). With your qualifications in a position in a university research organization is always a possibility; however, you may find that, being a non-citizen, you would need to acquire a work permit. Virginia and George are thriving, and join me in best wishes to Lisa and yourself. Yours ever, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/ks
March 18, 1977 318411 Dr. Colin Pearson Curator of Meteorites Western Australia Museum Francis Street Perth, Western Australia 6000 Dear Colin: Thank you very much for your letter of March 8, 1977. We were glad to hear that you found our suggested exchange a fair one. Not much of the Louisville meteorite has been recovered to date. Four specimens in all: ~1 kg, 190 g, and two at about 30 g. None of the material belongs to us, although we are working on it. If you had need for a small amount for research purposes, I might arrange to get it for you. A straight exchange is out of the question at this time. With best regards. Sincerely, Roy S. Clarke, Jr. Curator Division of Meteorites RSC/ks
#318411 February 14, 1977 Dr. Colin Pearson Curator of Meteorites Western Australia Museum Francis Street Perth, Western Australia 6000 Dear Colin, I am sorry to be a day later than expected in getting these exchange specimens off to you. Later the same day I last wrote to you, we found out that there had been a meteorite fall on January 31. A fireball accompanied by intense detonations occurred over Louisville (population 400,000), Kentucky, at 3:30 in the afternoon. Residents were startled, and at least one chimney was shaken, but no one became concerned enough to try and figure out what had happened. The next day a roofer extracted a 1 kg rock out of the roof of a house and insisted that it could only be a meteorite. Since then three more specimens have been recovered, and a search for additional specimens is underway. All four of the specimens damaged structures and were found within the city. There must be more out there to be found. Getting back to the matter at hand, a group of exchange specimens for your consideration is being sent to you by air freight. They are as follows: Allende, Mexico USNM-4657 2310g Allende, Mexico USNM-5688 311g Murray, Kentucky USNM-1769 43g Paragould, Arkansas USNM-2286 423g Cumberland Falls, Kentucky USNM- 604 127g Abee, Canada USNM-2096 88g Esterville, Iowa USNM-1025 111g Esterville, Iowa USNM-1025 28g The large Allende specimen is a fine exhibit piece. It was found 2 km south of Valle de Allende and was collected by Jack R. Hyde on our field trip of May-June 1969. It was undoubtedly recovered very soon
Pearson -2- #318411 after the fall, however, I have also included a small Allende individual that could be used as a source of study material. The large Esterville slice is typical material, but I have also included one of the metal slugs that were recovered in fairly large numbers. If we include the Allegan, Michigan, material that was sent you earlier, you will receive seven different meteorites for a total of 3550g. You sent us twelve different meteorites for a total weight of 3494g. All of the specimens we are sending you are from important observed falls! In each case you are getting a representative specimen of significant size. It seems to me that this would be a fair exchange, but I will be interested in hearing the reaction of your committee. When the shipment is received, please date, sign and return the white copy of the Invoice to the Office of the Registrar. With best regards, Sincerely, Roy S. Clarke, Jr. Curator Division of Meteorites RSC/cab
February 3, 1977 Dr. Colin Pearson Curator of Meteorites Western Australia Museum Francis Street Perth, Western Australia 6000 Dear Colin, The selection of possible exchange specimens has been completed. They will leave here late next week by air freight. Thanks for your patience. Sincerely, Roy S. Clarke, Jr. Curator Division of Meteorites RSC/cab
February 2, 1977 Mr. W.D. Prince 31 Skelton Street Hamilton, N.S.W. 2303 AUSTRALIA Dear Mr. Prince: Your letter concerning your iron meteorite collected in the Canyon Diablo area has been forwarded to me for reply. From your description of the polished surface is certainly sounds as though your specimen is a piece of Canyon Diablo. The small inclusions which are said to be arranged in a rough geometric pattern are probably cohenite and suggest a crystallographic order to the host metal. Concentrations of small cohemite inclusions are often found in Canyon Diablo. The metal bands should become clearly visible with nitol etching which should bring out the typical octahedrite Widmanstatten pattern. The reason you have been unable to develope this pattern may simply be that the acid strength of the etchant needs to be increased. If, indeed, your specimen is Canyon Diablo, the Widmanstatten pattern should develope. If you have further difficulty making a positive identification, you may mail your specimen to us for further study. Sincerely, Albert F. Noonan Museum Specialist Division of Meteorites
31 Skelton Street, [[underline]] HAMILTON [[/underline]], N.S.W. 2303 Australia 13th January 1977 [[image-stamp]] The Director, The Smithsonian Institute, WASHINGTON. D.C. U.S.A. Dear Sir, I am writing to you to see whether you can help with the identification of an iron meteorite recently acquired. It is about 3 1/2" in length, has an etched flat, and comes from the Cañon Diablo area. I would imagine that you probably have many "irons" from this crater in your collection and from my description may be about to match it with a similar one. If the etched face showed the typical Widmanstätten pattern of an octahedrite, this letter would not be necessary, as I have read enough literature on meteorites to be able to recognize such a pattern and know of what it consists. What the face does show is tin-white laths, which may consist of schreibersite, occurring in an apparently structureless iron. The laths are about 1 mm wide and up to 1 cm long, forming a rough pattern. They are not recessed (as kamacite would be after etching), but stand out slightly and so with their colour, lustre and relative insolubility fit the description given for schreibersite in Dana's System of Mineralogy. (I realise of course they could be cohenite but schreibersite seems more likely). I would like to have the iron part of the meteorite (which constitutes about 90% of the whole) analysed for nickel but this would spoil the specimen. As the latter is only thinly coated with limonite one might, perhaps, infer a fairly high nickel content. Also, several analyses given in Dana relating to meteorites from Cañon Diablo have nickel around 28-30%. I believe that when Ni exceeds about 24% the iron consists entirely of taenite and kamacite is not present. If such is the case with my specimen, this in itself could explain the lack of Widmanstätten pattern. Any light you can throw on the likely composition of the specimen would be most welcome. Finally, could you give me the address of a U.S. dealer where I could buy a small octahedrite, showing the Widmanstätten lines on etching, for my collection. Any locality will be acceptable. Yours faithfully, [[signature]] ^[[W.D. Prince]] [[/signature]] [[underline]] W.D. PRINCE [[/underline]] 1/19
[[preprinted]] [[image - arrow]] TO OPEN SLIT HERE FIRST [[image- arrow]] [[/preprinted]] [[preprinted]] Christmas 1976 [[/preprinted]] [[image - preprinted angel]] [[preprinted]] Aerogramme By Air Mail Par Avion [[/preprinted]] [[cancellation mark]] NEWCASTLE 11-PM 13 JAN 1977 N.S.W.2300 PREVENT BUSH FIRES [[/cancellation mark]] [[image- stamp of Madonna with Child ]] [[stamp text]] Australia 25 [[/stamp text]] [[strikethrough]] THE DIRECTOR, THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE, [[underlined]] WASHINGTON [[/underlined]], D.C. U.S.A. [[/strikthrough]] ^[[Mineral Sciences NHB Stop 119]] [[preprinted]] COUNTRY OF DESTINATION [[/preprinted]] [[preprinted]] SENDER'S NAME AND ADDRESS [[/preprinted]] W.D. PRINCE 31 Skelton Street, [[underlined]] HAMILTON [[/underlined]], N.S.W. 2303 AUSTRALIA [[preprinted]] POSTCODE [[/preprinted]]
August 9, 1977 AIRMAIL Miss J. Scrymgour South Australian Museum North Terrace Adelaide, Australia 5000 Dear Miss Scrymgour, I recently got a copy of the newly-published "Appendix to the Catalogue of Meteorites" (British Museum). In itsthere is listed a howardite from South Australia named Muckera. I am preparing a review article on eucrites and howardites, and would like to examine as many of them as possible. Could you send me a small piece of Muckera (sufficient to prepare a thin section)? With best regards, Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/ks
January 11, 1977 Airmail Miss J.M. Scrymgour South Australian Museum North Terrace Adelaide, Austrailia 5000 Dear Miss Scrymgour, Thank you for your letter of December 17 and the material of the Brachina manuscript. I hope it can be published soon. I have checked the magnification of the figures; Fig. 10 is 23x, Fig. 14 is 27x, and Fig. 15 is 83x on the xerox copies you sent me. The reference you inserted for Bowen and Schairer is correct. I have read your contribution and find it quite informative and have nothing to add. On the middle of p. 2 you pencilled in "striae" instead of "grooves" in describing the texture of the frontal surface; I agree that "striae" is probably preferable. Your acknowledgement of Dr. Schmitt's contribution seems quite appropriate. The only change I would like to make is in the order of authors in the title. I would like to add Mr. Jarosewich's name (and eliminate it from the acknowledgements), since I feel his analysis is a major contribution, and I would prefer the order J.E. Johnson and J.M. Scrymgour followed by Eugene Jarosewich and Brian Mason. Jim Johnson deserves great credit for recognizing the meteorite as the second chassignite, and we would not have had the opportunity of studying this almost unique meteorite if it had not been for him and you. With warmest regards and best wishes to Jim and yourself. Sincerly, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/ks
July 25, 1977 AIRMAIL Mr. G.C. Shaw Western Australian Museum Francis Street Perth, W. Australia 6000 Dear Geoff, I was glad to get your letter of July 8 and to learn that you have been awarded a Churchill Fellowship - congratulations! I am glad to see that your planned travels include Washington, and I look forward to seeing you here in May 1978. I still stay at the Excelsior Hotel when I visit New York. It is well situated, and reasonably priced by today's standards ($15 a night for a single when I was last there). We stayed at the Harrington Hotel when we visited Washington together in 1964, and it is still operating. However, if you would like a cheaper place I suggest Davis House, 1822 R Street, N.W., It[[strikethrough]]s[[/strikethrough]]is run by the Quakers and caters especially to overseas visitors like yourself. No meals, but it is close to Dupont Circle and there are many eateries handy. With best regards to your family and yourself. Sincerely, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/ks
March 3, 1977 AIRMAIL Mr. G.C. Shaw Western Australian Museum Francis Street Perth, W. Australia 6000 Dear Geoff, I was interested to get your letter of February 24, and to learn of your possible visit to the U.S. in June-July in connection with the Foreign Museums Professionals Program. I contacted Mr. Perrot of our Office of Museums Programs, and he informs me that to his knowledge the State Department will continue to provide financial support. He says that you should write to: AAM - INCOM ATTN: Mr. Stephen Munsing 1055 Thomas Jefferson St., N.W. Washington, DC 20007 explaining your situation and asking for financial support. Another possibility that comes to mind is the Churchill Memorial Trust, whose office is at Churchill House in Canberra. I recently wrote a recommendation for another Australian museum man who was applying to the trust for an overseas travel fellowship. Things are going along much as usual here. We had a meteorite fall in Louisville, Kentucky, at the end of January (four pieces recovered, the largest 1 kg), an ordinary chondrite, and I recently received for description a very interesting iron with silicate inclusions from Mexico. Virginia and George are thriving, with George at 14 almost as big as I am. They join me in best wishes to your family and yourself. Sincerely, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/ks
#325355 February 25, 1977 Mr. R. B. Wilson 22 Chetwynd Street West Beach South Australia 5024 Dear Mr. Wilson, Thank you for your letter of February 14, 1977. It was good to hear that you found our proposal acceptable. As I have said before, we feel tremendously indebted to you for your role in bringing the two magnificant Mundrabilla specimens to the Smithsonian. It would be most unfortunate should you feel that we had not treated you fairly. There is one suggestion that I would like to make regarding the Moodbine, Illinois, meteorite specimen. It would help in the eventual transfer to the South Australian Museum if it were registered into their records now. I would appreciate it if you would send the specimen to Dr. John K. Ling for that purpose. I am sure that he would promptly do what is necessary and return the specimen to you for as long as you have need for it. I will do my best to keep you informed of research conducted on our Mundrabilla material. No material has been distributed as yet by us for research purposes. We hope to cut the research slice in the near future. Dr. Joseph I. Goldstein of Lehigh University and I contemplate a major metallographic study. It should be great fun and we are anxious to get to it but things keep getting in the way. Sincerely, Roy S. Clarke, Jr. Curator Division of Meteorites cc: Dr. Ling RSC/cab
[[image - preprinted image of the National Museum of Natural History]] [[preprinted]] National Museum of Natural History - Smithsonian Institution Washington, D.C. 20560 - Tel. 202- Air Mail [[/preprinted]] January 5, 1977 Mr. R. Bruce Wilson 22 Chetwynd Street South Australia 5024 Dear Mr. Wilson, Thank you for your letter of February 18, 1976 and for the news that the remains of the Mundrabilla M2 mass have arrived safely back in Australia. Controversy seems to be inevitable when these very difficult jobs are undertaken. The Max Planck Institute undertook a difficult and expensive task, and they did an excellent job. In retrospect the time involved seems reasonable when the real problems they faced are considered. A tremendous service has been performed for those who are interested in the scientific study of meteorites. The second paragraph of your letter in which you discussed possible exchanges for the Mundrabilla material we received came as a complete surprise to me. Part of the delay in answering you has been caused by this insertion of a completely new idea. Correspondence and discussion were required to confirm my understanding of the nature of the agreement we assumed in accepting the two Mundrabilla specimens from the Max Planck Institute. Both the display slice and the research bar were presented to the U.S. Government at an international ceremony in Heidelberg arranged by Professor Paul Ramdohr. Receiving specimens on behalf of the countries involved were the American and British Ambassadors and the Charge d'Affaires of the Embassy of the U.S.S.R. The Australian Ambassador was present, as were the President of the Max Planck Institutes, the Director of the Institute in Heidelberg, other officials of the countries involved, and the international press. I attended as a representative of the Smithsonian Institution. At no point was there any indication that an obligation for exchange material was being assumed by us. In fact, it was clearly stated that the specimens were gifts. All of our dealings in this matter have been conducted with the Max Planck Institute. I kept you fully informed about the progress of these negotiations as a matter of courtesy.
Wilson -2- It seems to me that arrangements between the Max Planck Institute and Australian authorities have been unfortunately lax in one important area. The legitimate Australian interest in exchange value from Mundrabilla meteorite material has not been sufficiently protected. This was discussed when we were talking about bringing the M2 mass to Washington for cutting, and I have not changed my thinking since that time. As a consequence of this particular bit of history and because sound principles of curation are involved, we at the Smithsonian have developed a specific policy for handling the Mundrabilla exhibit slice and research bar. For the forseeable future we will do two things: 1) The Mundrabilla slice will remain on public exhibit and material will not be removed from it. 2) The research bar will be sampled for research purposes only, and use of this sample material will be closely controlled. This means that the Smithsonian Institution will not compete with Australians or others in exchanges or in other types of transactions dealing with the Mundrabilla meteorite. I would urge a similar policy on the other major recipients, should they be interested in my views. I have refused to make several requested Mundrabilla exchanges with other U.S. institutions. At least one of the individuals making such a request had been directed to me by Professor Ramdohr. Of course, our actions will not stop people from getting samples directly from Heidelberg. With this background stated, we can now return to your interest in obtaining meteorite specimens. The Smithsonian would be pleased to make you a gift of a small specimen of the Woodbine, Illinois, iron meteorite as a token of our appreciation for your part in bringing the Mundrabilla specimens to us. This meteorite is not represented in the South Australian Museum's collection, and we would stipulate that the specimen be transfered to that institution when you no longer have need for it. Woodbine and Mundrabilla are both unusual iron meteorites. Woodbine contains large amounts of both sulfide and troilite. The sample is being sent to you for consideration under separate cover. The specimen weighs about 250g, a significant portion of the 48kg mass recovered. When the shipment is received, please date, sign and return the white copy of the invoice to the Office of the Registrar. Installation of our large meteorite saw has recently been completed. It should be in operation with the next two or three months. There has
Wilson -3- also been a recent find of a two to three ton iron meteorite in this country. If all goes well, this should be our first major project for the new saw. Sincerely, Roy S. Clarke, Jr. Curator Division of Meteorites Enclosure RSC/cab cc: Director, South Australian Museum Keeper of Mineralogy, British Museum
AIRMAIL February 12, 1976 Mr. D. H. Blake Bureau of Mineral Resources P.O. Box 378 Canberra City, Australia 2601 Dear Mr. Blake: Recently I obtained a copy of your report 174, on the Birrindudu and Tanami sheet area, mainly to find out about the geology of the Browns Range. I had previously noticed this elliptical ring of hills on the Halls Creek 1:1 million topographic sheet and its form is reminiscent of some of the meteorite impact structures that have been recognized in recent years. I would like to know whether you observed any features that might lend support to this interpretation. I am planning to attend the International Geological Congress in Sydney next August and would like to visit the Browns Range prior to the Congress. I could fly to Kununurra and rent a vehicle there and drive to Gordan Downs or Birrindudu stations. However, I would probably need some help from the stations to reach the Browns Range and camp there for a few days. Can you tell me who I could write to at these stations in order to make some advance arrangements for my visit? Any help you can give me in this matter will be greatly appreciated. Sincerely yours, Brian H. Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences P.S. Walter Dallwitz is a good friend of mine and can fill you in on my interest in meteorites and meteorite impact structures. BHM:ml
July 21, 1976 AIRMAIL Mr. D. P. Boerner 33 Chewings Street Alice Springs, N.T., Australia Dear Doug, Long time no see! However, I am having a brief stop-over in Alice Springs early next month, and would like very much to visit with Una and you during my stay, if that is possible. I arrive in Alice Springs by air from Sydney on Saturday, August 7, at 8:15 in the evening, and leave for Kununurra at 8:15 the following morning. Its a short stay, but I hope to get together with you. Ed Henderson joins me in warmest regards and best wishes. Sincerely, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/kp
October 15, 1976 AIRMAIL Mr. D.P. Boerner 32 Chewings Street Alice Springs, N.T., Australia Dear Doug, After that pleasant night at your house I had a good flight to Kununurra, picked up a vehicle there, and drove to Gordon Downs. Unfortunately I was unable to get to the area I wanted to examine, due to insufficient time and travelling difficulties - the country was very overgrown with grass and scrub, after several wet seasons. I got back to Sydney for the International Geological Congress, which was most interesting and enjoyable. Thank you very much for your hospitality and for the two meteorites you gave me. I enclose an announcement regarding the Rabbit Flat stone, which will be published in a future issue of the journal [[underline]] Meteoritics [[/underline]]. If I have made any mistakes, or if there is any additional information you can add, I shall be glad if you will let me know. Ed Henderson has examined the iron meteorite, and says it appears to be identical with Henbury. This suggests that it is either a transported Henbury specimen, or that the meteorite that formed the Henbury craters came from the north and pieces broke off along its trajectory. If the latter is the case, it would be worthwhile to look for meteorites along the line joining Henbury with the location of the specimen you gave me. Ed Henderson joins me in warmest regards and best wishes to Una and yourself. Yours ever, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences Enclosure BM/ks
March 25, 1976 AIRMAIL The Manager Burrindudu Pastoral Station via Halls Creek, W.A. Australia 6770 Dear Sir, One of my principal scientific interests is the investigation of recent meteorite craters and unusual geological structures that may be the vestiges of ancient meteorite impacts. In this connection I spent some time at the Wolf Creek Crater, south of Halls Creek, in 1963 and 1967. Recently, while examining the Halls Creek 1:1 million map, I became intrigued by the ring of hills (outlined on the enclosed mapy) in your region. I shall be in Australia in August to attend an International Geological Congress in Sydney, and would like to take the o opportunity to visit this locality. As far as I can ascertain here in Washington, the easiest way to get there is to fly from Sydney to Kunanurra, rent a vehicle there, and drive to your station. However, I feel that I need someone with local knowledge to guide me to the area itself. I think one or two days in the area would be sufficient for me to decide on its geological origin. Could I get someone from your station to help me in this way? My present schedule puts me in Sydney on August 7, and I could reach your station within a couple of days. Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences Enclosure BM/kp
August 4, 1976 Dr. John R. de Laeter WA Meteorite Advisory Committee Department of PHysics Western Australian Inst. of Technology Hayman Road South Bentley 6102 W. A. Dear John: Brian Mason has passed on to me your letter of July 27, 1976 requesting information on our facilities for cutting iron meteorites. As I leave for a month's vacation within a few days, I can only take time to mention a few highlights. Should you want specifics, I would be glad to go into more detail on my return. For at least the last 50 years the large iron meteorite surfaces that have been cut here have been done on a modified band saw. We use toothless iron blades and a carborundum abrasive slurry. The two 36' wheels are set on 4' centers. Properly managed, this saw still gives good cuts on small or medium sized irons. It is very slow, however, and requires the constant attention of an operator. All of the really large meteorites we have had cut in the past have been done in some other shop. We are now in the process of installing a large wire saw of the type used by Buchwald (Meteoritics 6, 27-31, 1971), and subsequently by Ramdohr [[underlined]] et al.[[/underlined]] on Mundrabilla. Our saw is a modified standard heavy duty wire saw manufactured by the W.J. Savage Co. Inc. of Knoxville, Tennessee. Its turntable block car has a 10 ton capacity, and it will cut and clear a meteorite 5' x 8'. It uses a single short wire with a precision hydraulic feed system. There is an abrasive reclaim system involving a circulating pump, a trough in the floor, and a storage tank. Cutting rates remain to be established, but preliminary testing was encouraging. We hope to be able to cut any meteorite that can be brought to Washington in a reasonable time. We will know a lot better about this within the year. I hope this will be helpful, and please do not hesitate to ask for more specific information.
-2- I would also like to mention that I expect to get to our pending exchange soon after my return to Washington. Sincerely, Roy S. Clarke, Jr. Curator Division of Meteorites RSC/kp
[[preprinted]] Hayman Road South Bentley 6102 Telephone 68 5511 Telex AA 92983 Department of Physics [[/preprinted]] [[image - preprinted logo of five mineral structures]] [[preprinted]] Western Australian Institute of Technology. [[/preprinted]] [[line across page]] [[preprinted]] File No.: [[/preprinted]] JRdel:PH [[preprinted]] Reply to: Your Ref.: [[/preprinted]] 27 July 1976 Dr. B Mason Department of Mineral Sciences Smithsonian Institution Washington D.C. U.S.A. Dear Brian The WA Museum is hoping to establish a facility for cutting large iron meteorites in Perth. In the past we have been dependent on other organisations to cut these meteorites for us. I wonder if you could send me any information on the wiresaw you use for this purpose, so that we can build one and set it up in the WA Museum. Hoping you can help us. I am Yours sincerely [[signature]] ^[[John R de Laeter]] [[/signature]] John R. de Laeter Member [[underlined]] WA METEORITE ADVISORY COMMITTEE [[/underlined]] ^[[Roy: Would you reply to this, Please? [[underlined]] BM [[/underlined]] ]]
^[[ [[underlined]]File[[/underlined]] ]] 381-4174 14 July 1976 Mr. Walter Ferguson 37 Gordon Road Auburn, N.S.W. 2144 Australia Dear Mr. Ferguson: Thank you very much for your letter of 22 June addressed to the Curator of Meteorites, and for the report of your observation of June/July 1946. From your description it appears that what you observed was indeed a bright fireball, and you were fortunate in having seen this phenomenon. Very bright meteors such as this are rela^[[t]]ively rare. I am enclosing a copy of the publication "Meteorites", which I hope you will find interesting Very truly yours, David R. Squires Operations Officer SEAN Enc. cc: Dr. Roy Clarke [[large blue handwritten check mark]]
March 25, 1976 AIRMAIL The Manager Gordon Downs Pastoral Station via Halls Creek, W.A. Australia 6770 Dear Sir, One of my principal scientific interests is the investigation of recent meteorite crates and unusual geological structures that may be the vestiges of ancient meteorite impacts. In this connection I spent some time at the Wolf Creek Crater, south of Halls Creek, in 1963 and 1967. Recently, while examining the Halls Creek 1:1 million map, I became intrigued by the ring of hills (outlined on the enclosed copy) in your region. I shall be in Australia in August to attend an International Geological Congress in Sydney, and would like to take the opportunity to visit this locality. As far as I can ascertain here in Washington, the easiest way to get there is to fly from Sydney to Kunanurra, rent a vehicle there, and drive to your station. However, I feel that I need someone with local knowledge to guide me to the area itself. I think one or two days in the area would be sufficient for me to decide on its geological origin. Could I get someone from your station to help me in this way? My present schedule puts me in Sydney on August 7, and I could reach your station within a couple of days. Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences Enclosure BM/kp
April 20, 1976 Dr. C. Gray Geology Department La Trobe University Bundoora, Australia 3083 Dear Chris, In reply to your letter of April 14, let me give you a little background on the Pena Blanca Spring meteorite. It fell in a waterhole (used locally as a swimming pool) on a ranch in west Texas in 1946. The ranch owner has never been willing to part with it, and the main masses are I believe stored in a closet in his home in San Antonio. Our 400-gram piece seems to be the largest fragment in a museum. To provide you with a 10-gram interior piece would involve breaking up the entire specimen, and this we are reluctant to do. Why must you use Pena Blanca Spring in your projected research? If all you need is a second enstatite achondrite, Norton County would be a natural. I think we could supply you with a 10-gram internal fragment from this meteorite. Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/kp
AIRMAIL September 28, 1976 Dr. H. R. Heydegger Research School of Earth Sciences The Australian National University Box 4, P.O., Canberra, A.C.T. AUSTRALIA, 2600 Dear Dr. Heydegger, Under a separate cover you will be sent 3.3 grams of the Allende Meteorite powder for which you asked in your letter to Dr. B. Mason. Also, I am enclosing a copy of the procedure used in the preparation of this sample. I hope that 3.3 grams is a sufficient amount of this sample for your work. When the shipment is received, please date, sign and return the white copy of the invoice to the Office of the Registrar. Sincerely, Eugene Jarosewich Chemist Dept. of Mineral Sciences EJ/cab cc: B. Mason
July 21, 1976 AIRMAIL Mr. J. Hobbs Letz Rent-a-Car Kununurra, W. Australia 6743 Mr. J. Hobbs, Thank you for your letter of July 12, offering me the rental of a Toyota Landcruiser for the period of August 9-13; this will be satisfactory for my puuppse, and I hereby confirm the reservation. I now plan to arrive in Kununurra by air from Alice Springs at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, August 8. If possible, I should like to take delivery of the vehicle on arrival at Kununurra Airport, so as to make the best use of my limited time. I shall also be glad if you will provide a can of drinking water (preferably about 4 gallons) with the vehicle. Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/kp
December 16,1976 AIRMAIL Mr. J.E. Johnson Mineral Department South Australian Museum North Terrace Adelaide, Australia 5000 Dear Jim, Through John McAndrew I have just received the parcel of South Australian minerals that you assembled for me. They are most interesting and useful additions to the mineral collection - the bermanite is a particularly fine specimen. The mineral marked almandine(?) on the albite-triplite specimen is certainly a garnet, but in view of the association is almost certainly spessartine. Oliver Chalmers, Ed Henderson, and I recently published a monograph on australites, describing our work over the past several years. You should be receiving a copy from Oliver very shortly. I'm still interested in australite distribution, and am thinking of making a trip through north-eastern South Australia around July-August 1977. With many thanks for the specimens, and best wishes for Christmas and the New Year. Sincerely, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences cc: Dr. J. McAndrew BM/ks
June 24, 1976 AIRMAIL Mr. Letz Rent-a-Car System 744B Silverbox Avenue Kununurra, W. Australia 6743 Dear Mr. Letz, In August I shall be visiting Australia and am planning on examining some geological features near Halls Creek, Western Australia. I expect to arrive in Kununurra on the evening of Sunday, August 8 by air from Sydney and Darwin, and would like to rent a vehicle for the period August 9-13 inclusive, preferably a short wheelbase Land Rover or similar four-wheel drive vehicle. Can you provide me with such a vehicle, and what would the charges be? Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/kp
AIRMAIL February 4, 1976 The Director Bureau of Mineral Resources P.O. Box 378 Canberra City, ACT 2601, Australia Dear Sir, On January 19 I sent an order to your information section for one copy of BMR Report 174 (Lanami and Birrindudu) together with my cheque on the Bank of New Smith Wales, Sydney for $20. This sum was intended to cover the cost plus the [[underline]]airmail[[/underline]] postage. However, as of this date I have not received the publication. As it probably contains material critical for a manuscript I have in press, I shall be gratiful if you can expedite the processing of my order (if it has not already been executed). Very truly yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/cab
March 17, 1976 Dr. R.W. Nesbitt Geology Department University of Adelaide Box 498, G.P.O., Adelaide Australia 5001 Dear Bob, In reply to your letter of March 10, I am interested to learn that the Geodynamics group is organizing a symposium at IGC on "Earliest Archaean Tectonics and Magmatism." While I do not want to make a formal contribution, I shall be glad to contribute something on the West Greenland rocks to the discussion, if called upon (providing no one more knowledgeable is present). I have passed on your request for some standard Allende sample to our chemist, Mr. Jarosewich, and he will send you the material. By the way, it looks as if ~6 ppm Zr is the correct figure for this material; Ehmann (in Proc. 6th Lunar Sci. Confr., 1975) recently revised his Zr figures for this material to 6.0, 6.8 ppm. Looking forward to seeing you in Sydney. Sincerely, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/kp cc: Mr. Jarosewich
August 3, 1976 Dr. Colin Pearson Curator of Meteorites Western Australian Museum Francis Street [[underlined]]Perth[[/underlined]] Western Australia 6000 Dear Colin: Thank you for your letter of June 24, 1976 reminding me of our pending exchange. I had hoped to have specimens on their way to you prior to leaving on vacation. The date of departure, however, is fast approaching, making this an impossibility. My return to Washington will be at the beginning of the second week of September. Your exchange will be at the top of the pile and specimens should be on the way to you by the first of October. I hope this will not seriously inconvenience you. Sincerely, [[underlined]]R[[/underlined]]oy S. Clarke, Jr. Curator Division of Meteorites RSC/kp
January 6, 197^[[6]] Dr. Colin Pearson Western Australian Museum Fremantle Branch Finnerty Street [[underlined]] Fremantle [[/underlined]]. 6160 Western Australia Dear Colin: The meteorites listed in your letter of December 23, 1975 arrived here in good condition today. The weights check out well with your listing, and all of the specimens are on hand. We will select exchange material and have it prepared in the near future. I would hope we could get most of this material to you within about six weeks. I was particularly pleased that you were able to increase the size of the Redfields specimen. It has a nice large schreibersite in in that I will take a serious look at in the near future. With best regards. Sincerely, Roy S. Clarke, Jr. Curator Division of Meteorites RSC/kp
May 4, 1976 Dr. I.R. Plimer Robinson University College University of N.S.W. Silver City Highway Broken Hill, N.S.W., Australia Dear Dr. Plimer, Thank you for sending me the current list of Broken Hill geological research workers. While I am not active in this field at the present time, I do appreciate being kept informed in this way. Thank you too for the note regarding the IMA excursion to Broken Hill in August. I had planned to join that excursion, but now find it necessary to go to Northern Territory at that time to investigate a possible meteorite crater. However, my colleague Mr. Paul Desautels will probably be joining the excursion, and is interested in acquiring good Broken Hill specimens for our mineral collection. With best regards. Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences cc: Mr. Desautels BM/kp
July 12, 1976 Miss J.M. Scrymgour The South Australia Museum North Terrace Adelaide, Australia 5000 Dear Miss Scrymgour, I am sending herewith a print suitable for reproduction of the figure accompanying my Brac[[overwritten]]hh[[/overwritten]]china manuscript. I shall be in Sydney from Aug. 14-26 for the International Geological Congress, but do not plan to visit Adelaide. I am confident, however, that you can assemble a satisfactory publication from the various parts. I think Dr. Schmitt's results might be inserted following the section I wrote for you. A paragraph regarding the significance of the Brachina meteorite might read as follows: "The Brachina meteorite is highly significant, since it is the second example of a previously unique meteorite class, the chassignates. The original meteorite of this class, Chassigny, fell in France in 1815, not long after the reality of meteorite falls was first accepted by the scientific community (The L'Aigle fall, also in France, of 1803). The uniqueness of the Chassigny meteorite was emphasized by its lack of similarity with any known meteorite. Although it has been grouped with three other classes (aubrites, diogenites, and ureilites) in the calcium-poor achondrites, it shows little resemblance either chemically or mineralogically wit[[overwritten]] y [[/overwritten]]h meteorites in these other classes. The discovery of the Brachina meteorite greatly extends our knowledge of the chassignites, providing an oppor[[overwritten]]u[[/overwritten]]t[[overwritten]]n[[/overwritten]]unity [[opportunity]] to compare and contrast the original meteorite, Chassigny, with it. Although the two meteorites are closely similar both chemically and mineralogically, the differences indicate a different history subsequent to their dislo[[overwritten]]g[[/overwritten]]dgement from a parent body (probably a asteroid), and possibly a rather different position within the parent body; the possibility of two different parent bodies for these two meteorites cannot be ruled out, but seems less likely. The occurrence of unique and almost-unique meteorites like Brachina and Chassigny suggests the exciting poss[[overwritten]]s[[/overwritten]]i[[overwritten]]l[[/overwritten]]b[[overwritten]]b[[/overwritten]]i[[overwritten]]i[[/overwritten]]l[[overwritten]]l[[/overwritten]]i[[overwritten]][[?i]][[/overwritten]]ty [[possibility]] of our finding new meteorites belonging to classes as yet unknown." With best regards, Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences Enclosure BM/kp
May 26, 1976 Miss. J. Scrymgour South Australian Museum North Terrace Adelaide, Australia 5000 Dear Miss Scrymgour, I am sending herewith the results of my work on the Brachina meteorite. I hope it is suitable for incorporation in the publication you are planning on this most interesting meteorite. I have a favor to ask. As editor of [[underline]] The American Mineralogist [[/underline]] I recently received a manuscript from Professor Paul Moore of Chicago describing bermanite from the McMahon pegmatite, Olary district, South Australia (the specimen supplied by J.E. Johnson). Could you or Jim Johnson send one or more specimens of this rare mineral for the Smithsonian Collection? With warmest regards and best wishes. Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences Enclosure BM/kp
January 27, 1976 Airmail Miss June Scrymgour South Australian Museum North Terrace Adelaide, S. Australia 5000 Dear Miss Scrymgour, Thank you for your letter of January 19. Our work on the Brachina meteorite is well in hand, and I hope to obtain some scanning electron microscope pictures later this week. We have prepared a sample for analysis and sent a split of this to Dr. Roman Schmitt for trace element determinations. I would like to have an uncolored cast of the meteorite to go with our cast of the small broken piece. Very little has yet been published on the Mundrabilla meteorite. The only moderately comprehensive paper is by P. Ramdohr and A. El Goresy, Eimiges über den Meteoriten von Mundrabilla in Westaustralien, Chemie der Erde, vol. 30, pp. 269-285, 1971. We have received a large slice which is now on display in our Meteorite Hall, and some additional material which is supplied to researchers on request. With best regards. Sincerely yours, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/kp
January 27, 1976 Dr. F.L. Sutherland Department of Mineralogy The Australian Museum P.O. Box A285, Sydney South Sydney, N.S.W., Australia Dear Lin, Thank you for your note of January 14 and the purchase order for 100 copies of the australite monograph. I have passed the message on to the Smithsonian Press. The order will be filled at the U.S. selling price less 25% discount. The actual price will not be known until the monograph is in page proof. I'm glad to know you find my Broken Hill article useful. I plan to be at the Tucson Mineral Show and look forward to seeing you there. Sincerely, Brian Mason Curator Department of Mineral Sciences BM/kp