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Middlesboro touts 'meteorite memories' after Friday cosmic events

12:41 AM, Feb 16, 2013   |    comments
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Whether it is the event of meteor burning up in Russia, or an asteroid getting close to Earth, it is "old news" of sorts for a small coal mining town in southeastern Kentucky.

"It's unique, we have the mountains that surround us," said 70+ year Middlesboro resident Marcum Brogan. "In the last two to three years, it has been brought up more that we are made by a crater."

According to historians, a meteor struck the land that would later become Middlesboro 350 million years ago, creating a four mile wide crater. It is believed the central point of impact is the Middlesboro Golf Course, aptly located in the center of town.

"The theory is when the meteor hit, it blasted the mountains up and made a hole, and the water rushed in and that created the Cumberland Gap," said Bell County Historical Society director James Madison.

On Friday, people in the town were talking about the event in Chelyabinsk, Russia, and what happened over our heads when an asteroid was some 17,000 miles to Earth.

"Well I thought it may hit again," Brogan recalled.

"We started talking about whether it could happen again?" added Middlesboro radio personality Frank Brown.

Historian Madison said the events of Friday may prove some skeptics wrong about the creation of this basin-like land in Bell County.

"They believe it's hard to predict what happened 350 million years ago. But the satellite shots show that there's a hole in the ground and the obvious answer is that something came here and hit it," Madison said.

It is believed that Middlesboro is the only town in the U.S. sitting in a meteorite crater.

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