- Josua Hutagalung of Kolang North Sumatra, feels cheated after hearing that the meteorite he sold fetched $1.85M.
- The 33-year-old man originally found the meteorite after it smashed the roof of his house and fell into his veranda.
- He sold it to meteorite expert Jared Collins at $14,000 and donated some of the money to his community church.
- The rock later turned out to be a rare variety, which fetched a high price—$857 per gram.
33-year-old Josua Hutagalung of Kolang, North Sumatra could have been an instant millionaire after selling the meteorite that crashed into his roof. Unfortunately, he found out too late that the meteorite he sold for $14,000 to a meteorite expert would fetch $1.85 million later on.
According to the Indonesian coffin maker, he was working on a coffin next to his house when the meteorite crashed into the veranda next to his living room.
The rock which weighs 2.2 kgs. ended up embedded 15 cm. into the soil after smashing a hole into his roof.
Upon digging it out, he found that the space rock was still warm to touch so he brought it to the house.
In an interview, Josua shared that it made a huge impact and a loud sound, that he immediately knew it couldn’t have been thrown in by a person. He said the impact was so strong that people in the neighborhood came to check out what happened.
“Many people have come, out of curiosity, and want to see the stone,” he said.
US meteorite expert Jared Collins also got interested.
Jared also said he was torn between buying the rock for himself and sharing it with the scientists and collectors in the United States since “it was in the middle of the COVID crisis.” He decided to go when his phone almost “lit up with crazy offers” to buy the meteorite.
“I carried as much money as I could muster and went to find Josua, who turned out to be a canny negotiator,” he shared.
The Head of the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (Lapan), Thomas Djamaluddin, called it a ‘rock meteorite’.
In the end, Jared secured and shipped the $14,000-meteorite to the US, where it was later sold to Jay Piatek, a doctor and meteorite collector from Indianapolis at $857 per gram or $1.85 million—an amount equivalent to 30 years’ salary for Josua.
The Lunar and Planetary Institute in Texas recorded details of the meteorite and found that it actually weighs 2.5 kgs.
The meteorite has a dark gray and black interior, with light colored specks mixed in.
Analysis also showed that this meteorite—which they officially named Kolang—is actually a rare CM1/2 carbonaceous Chondrite variety.
Josua, on the other hand, used his money to fix his house and his parents’ gravesites. He also donated a portion to the church in his community and some more to other poor people on the streets.
Josua hoped that this is a sign that he will be “lucky” and finally have a daughter.
Later on, he shared that he was just disappointed that Jared was dishonest about the actual worth of the meteorite. However, he understood that he no longer owns the rights to the space rock.
Fortunately, he was able to keep some parts of the meteorite as a souvenir. He said he gave some of it to his family and friends but kept five grams for himself.
“I’m also never going to sell the extra pieces even if anyone offers a high price,” he said.
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