Jim Strope
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Jim Strope
Meteor Hunter

I was born in 1951 in Glen Dale WV and still live in the same small town.  I am college educated and a Certified Public Accountant.  I have been a controller for toy and steel manufacturers.

I became interested in meteorites in 1992.  I was at a gem, fossil, and mineral show in Pittsburgh, PA.  One of the dealers was selling a few small meteorites which turned out to be Sikhote-Alin shrapnel.  I didn't even know you could own a meteorite!!!  I was hooked instantly.  I bought one of the specimens and started doing research when I got home.  I found a couple more mail-order dealers and bought a piece of Murchison and Gibeon.  About a year later, I went to the Denver gem and mineral show to help one of the dealers that I became acquainted with.  I ended up helping him at the Tucson and Denver shows the next two years.

My hobby became an obsession and I started selling specimens from my collection as I upgraded to larger pieces.  I even started hunting for meteorites on dry lake beds in Nevada and California.   The bulk of my success in hunting meteorites has been in the deserts of South America, Africa, and Middle East.

My favorite meteorite is still the Sikhote-Alin iron from Russia which fell in 1947.  It really looks like what I and many other people think that a meteorite should look like.  That fall has quite a variety of specimen types smooth, oriented, shrapnel, angular, round; I could go on and on. Each Sikhote-Alin specimen is unique in its own way.  Next to Sikhote-Alin, I like the Moon and Mars.  It is still incredible for me to think that I can own a piece of a planetary body that I can look at it in the night sky.

I really enjoy what I am doing with meteorites now.  They have really expanded my interest in space.