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Baygorria, IAB

Baygorria, IAB


A Single Mass Found 1994 July 8

Near Baygorria Dam, Uruguay, SA

(not pictured below)

Baygorria or Campos?


Baygorria Watch! No gorgeous lifeguards to protect you in these waters! So what's the scam? Relocated wet Campos may be surfacing the meteorite market as "Baygorria." How could this happen? The 2005 Tucson show was attended by the Giroldi (Jiroldi?) Brothers of Uruguay. The brothers claim to have found an abundance of Baygorria meteorites beneath the waters of the Baygorria Dam. They supplied a poster of photos 'documenting' their onsite dive 'recovery' with many pristine black metal meteorites being retrieved from the brackish waters as proof. Too bad no one told them that meteorites rust in water. Not one meteorite in the photos showed the first signs of rust. (see photos) More details below.

Baygorria Stats - (iron meteorite IAB), Rio Negro Province, Uruguay. Found 1994 July 8. A single mass, ~80 kg, was found in a grass field near Baygorria dam. Classification (F. Wlotzka, MPI, Mainz) and analysis (B. Spettel, Max Planck Inst. f r Chemie, Mainz, Germany): Ni, 6.5%; Co, 0.43%; Ga 97.8 ppm; Ge, 10.9 ppm; Ir, 3.69 ppm; composition similar to Campo del Cielo.

More amazing rust defying meteorites!


The following excerpt is from the article "Tucson 2005 Meteorite Show" by O. Richard Norton published in METEORITE Magazine (May 2005):

"It was late in the afternoon of the last day only a few hours before we were scheduled to depart Tucson when we found the room quite by accident. For days we had been making the rounds of the motels with meteorites to offer. Then, in a ground floor room at the Howard Johnson Hotel with curtains and door open for all to see was a sight I will long remember. On every table, covering the bed, the dresser (and in the dressers), spread out on the floor, in boxes and window sills were meteorites - hundreds of meteorites, all irons from one fall. Spilling out the door and onto wooden make-shift tables and boxes were large beautifully aesthetic irons too heavy to walk away. It appeared we had entered meteorite heaven. I have never seen so many meteorites all of the same kind and all in one place (Fig. 4). My first thought was that these were Campos, but positioned prominently on the wall was a chemical analysis of an iron meteorite called Baygorria. This iron was found in a grass field near Baygorria dam, in Rio Negro Province, Uruguay in 1994. It is a single mass of approximately 80 kg. (See the Catalog of Meteorites for the analysis.) A number of photographs next to the analysis showed two divers near a body of water displaying several gorgeous, regmaglypt-covered specimens. The two divers were in the room but they could not speak English. There was a female interpreter who knew little about meteorites. The implication was that these meteorites were Baygorria. I asked to see a cut piece which they gladly gave me. It was filled with what appeared to be black silicates covering about 50% of the interior. The exterior though carefully cleaned had a pitted granular appearance strongly resembling Campo #1. We took the specimen with us. At home we determined the bulk density to be 4.7 g/cc, attesting to the high silicate content. A nickel test was also positive. These were meteorites alright but not Baygorria. What"s going on? The meteorites are nice - but - caveat emptor! Let the buyer beware! "


Photo by Jim Strope

Giroldi Brothers of Uruguay at 2005 Tucson Show
( note "recovery" poster on wall )

Shortly after the Tucson show, meteorites advertised as "Baygorria" began showing up on Ebay. On Feb 19, 2005, meteorite dealer Mike Farmer explained to MetList Subscribers: "I hate to burst your bubbles, but THERE IS NO BAYGORRIA! It is CAMPO...I know the guys who sold it as Baygorria, the Argentine government is after them, so what did they do, they just call it Baygorria and say they found it in a lake in Uruguay...Stupidest crap I have ever heard, and they told me in Tucson it is just a marketing ploy to keep themselves out of trouble...I discussed this with them (in Spanish) and they made no secret of it. Now, perhaps with their language limitations, they were not able to clarify for the buyers, but it is bad, and I am sick of seeing it...So please, THESE meteorite[s] are CAMPOS."

There was only one documented Baygorria meteorite. It has been cut into slices and the main mass (40kg half) was donated to a university. Individual meteorites sold as 'Baygorria' are more than likely Campo del Cielo from Argentina. Buyers seeking genuine slices of Baygorria should contact the dealers mentioned above. Buyers purchasing from any other source should first request proof of provenance to the only documented mass.

It is a shame that a misrepresentation perpetrated to bypass export laws inadvertently resulted in so much mistrust and confusion. So what is the most important lesson here? Edwin Thompson explains: "The biggest problem is that in an entirely trust based industry, so many wonderful meteorites [Campos] are being turned into lie based material. This could create an infection that may spread and remain for years to come, breaking down that delicate trust relationship between collector or researcher and supplier. The truth needs to be established, exposed and supported by us all."