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Space Gem - Book Review

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by Neil Follett (subscribe)
I'm a retired photographer living in Lilydale mainly researching and writing on Australian aviation history. Now writing more on general subjects.
Published October 3rd 2019
A down to Earth account of what came to Earth
Space Gem: That's the title and the phenomenon that happened over the small Victorian town of Murchison on 28 September 1969.

Space gems
The front cover.


At 11.58 on that date, many residents of Murchison and surrounding districts saw, heard and smelt a phenomenon above their town.

It was a meteorite that fragmented and came crashing to earth.
Various residents described the sound as, "a jet aircraft," "a heavy truck", "thunder," "an express train" and many other sounds.

Many reported that the aroma of methylated spirits permeated the air.

Local author and member of the Murchison Historical Society, Margaret Lock became fascinated with the happening when she moved into the area in 2013.

Speaker
Margaret talking about Space Gems.


What became an interest turned into a passion to learn more about what happened over this small country town and the fallout from it.

It took many years of constant research which resulted in the launching of her book Space Gems Mysteries of the Murchison Meteorite on Sunday 22 September 2019. The book was launched at the Murchison Heritage Centre by local amateur astronomer Cass Alexander, a retired air traffic controller, so he is very used to looking up into the sky.

Speaker
Cass just before launching the book.


On the same day as the book, launch four murals on the wall of the Murchison Heritage Centre were unveiled. The four panels show the reactions to the meteorite from cattle, birds, dogs and children. They were painted by local artist Jane Spencer.

Meteorite Mural
The murals painted by Jane Spencer.


The Murchison Meteorite attracted world-wide interest as it was scientifically determined that it was a very rare meteorite and over 4.6 billion years old.

book back cover
The back cover of Space Gem.


Scientists from several countries have visited Murchison in their quest for more information.

Margaret has assembled her painstaking research into a very readable account, not only of the meteorite's immediate impact, but its interest some fifty years later.

Book signing.
Margaret happily signing this author's copy of Space Gem.


Space Gem is a 180 page book profusely illustrated.
Available from: The Murchison Heritage Centre,
4. Stevenson Street,
Murchison,
Victoria, 3610.

Cost: $30-00 plus p&p $10-95.

This book is a gem in more ways than one.
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