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ORIGINS OF THE METEORITE MEN
After appearing in numerous one-off meteorite hunting television shows for PBS, Discovery Channel, the History Channel, the Travel Channel and others, long time friends and expedition partners Geoff Notkin, science writer and owner of Aerolite Meteorites, and world famous meteorite hunter Steve Arnold were eager to take their unique blend of adventure, science, and humor to a wider audience.

During the winter of 2007 Steve and Geoff were contacted by Ruth Rivin, executive producer at prominent production company LMNO, in Los Angeles, California to ask if they would be interested in pursuing a television series idea. After a few months of talks, producer Elizabeth Meeker flew to Tucson for a one-day desert shoot with Steve and Geoff in February, 2008. The resulting demo reel landed the Meteorite Men and LMNO owner Eric Schotz an invitation to fly to Washington, D.C. and meet with senior executives at some of the world's top cable networks. Steve and Geoff turned up in the lobby of the Discovery building in full field gear, and carrying a backpack containing ten thousand dollars' worth of meteorites. It was quite the show-and-tell.

METEORITE MEN PILOT
The Science Channel liked what they saw and ordered a one-hour special. Both LMNO and the Meteorite Men wanted to create something outstanding, so the best possible team was assembled to make a riveting adventure show. Veteran TV producer Bob Melisso was brought on board to work full time on the project. Randall Love, a cinematographer of exceptional talent and experience who has worked for Lucas films, Disney, Pixar, the BBC, and HBO among others was hired as Director of Photography.

ON LOCATION IN KANSAS AND ARIZONA
After months of pre-production, shooting was set to commence in late September. Bad weather at the Kansas location forced a last-minute reschedule, and the entire crew stayed a heartbeat ahead of appalling weather all through the week of shooting. Primary location work was completed at the Brenham strewnfield in Kiowa County, Kansas, in addition to a top secret location where the Meteorite Men have been working for the past couple of years.

With three 4WD trucks, two ATVs, two giant metal detectors and enough other assorted hunting equipment to keep a small army occupied, the Meteorite Men covered hundreds of acres of ground and filmed in plowed fields, forests, rolling hillsides, abandoned farms, on unmarked dirt roads and in howling Kansas winds. Elizabeth Meeker returned to work with the team, as did jib operator Scott Jolley, who had worked with the Meteorite Men on an earlier shoot for the Discovery Channel. With three cameras in operation, every detail of the Meteorite Men's hunt for space rocks was captured in high definition.

The cast and crew worked long days. With the threat of bad weather always present, the team wanted to make the most of every day. Most mornings everyone was on location before sunrise, and were still filming as the sun began to disappear behind low Kansas hills each evening.

VISITING THE METEORITE COLLECTION AT ASU, TEMPE
Additional shooting took place at the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe, in the company of expert meteoriticists Dr. Meenakshi Wadhwa and Dr. Laurence Garvie. Steve and Geoff drove some of their finds to ASU where they were examined by the top academics, and in some of the most amusing segments in the show, Geoff and Steve get to explore ASU's famous collection room—just like two kids in a candy store. They also got to play with the multi-million dollar Ion Beams for Analysis of Materials (IBeAM) equipment in ASU's underground warren of state-of-the-art labs. The IBeAM bombards specimens with accelerated ions to determine their chemical composition. Steve and Geoff were not very surprised to learn that they had found real meteorites during the shoot!

Post production work continued through the winter of 2008 and well into 2009. Steve and Geoff supplied a wealth of personal photos, maps and documents from their personal archives to add detail to the show. When the crew returned home after the final shoot, they had to sort through over seventy-five hours of footage, and somehow edit it all down into a one-hour show. The debut of the Meteorite Men pilot was May 10, 2009.

METEORITE MEN SEASON ONE
After the success of the one-hour pilot, Science Channel commissioned six new one-hour Meteorite Men episodes from LMNO Productions. Primary location shooting was completed in November of 2009 and the new season premiered on January 20, 2010. Season One consists of six one-hour episodes; five were filmed in the USA and one in Canada. TV veteran Kathy Williamson joined the team as Executive Producer at LMNO, and directed three of the episodes; the other three were directed by Bob Melisso.

Season One locations included the Odessa meteorite crater in Texas, the famous Gold Basin strewnfield in northern Arizona, Whitecourt crater and Buzzard Coulee in Canada, and a search for the legendary Tucson Ring meteorite, as well as a visit to the world famous Tucson gem and mineral show. Science segments were filmed at ASU Tempe with Dr. Meenakshi Wadhwa and Dr. Laurence Garvie; at UCLA with Dr. Alan Rubin; and at the University of Alberta in Edmonton with Dr. Chris Herd.

Season One of Meteorite Men won a Telly Award.

METEORITE MEN SEASON TWO
Season One of Meteorite Men won a 2010 Telly Award in the documentary category, was described by the media as "a hit series," and in the spring of 2010, Science Channel ordered eight new one-hour episodes. Season Two dramatically raised the bar, with Steve and Geoff traveling 65,000 miles to hunt for meteorites on four continents. Season Two features exotic and challenging destinations such as Chile's Atacama Desert, the Australian Outback, and Sweden's Muonionalusta strewnfield, north of the Arctic Circle.

Paul Teutel Sr. and the motorcycle crew at Orange County Choppers designed and built a spectacular off-road bike for the Meteorite Men and it was featured in several episodes. Season Two of Meteorite Men premiered on November 2, 2010 on Science Channel and has also aired overseas.

Season Two of Meteorite Men won a second Telly Award.

METEORITE MEN SEASON THREE
Season Three of Meteorite Men premiered on Science Channel in the USA on November 28, 2011. The amazing all-terrain, amphibious Hyrdratrek Rockhound returned, and the Meteorite Men unveiled The Mule, their tough go-anywhere special expedition vehicle [pictured at left].

Emmy Award-winning cameraman Per Larsson came on board as director of photography for the third season, and the guys had the opportunity to revisit a couple of their favorite locations, including Whitecourt Crater in Canada, and the ancient Muonionalusta strewnfield, north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden. They also broke new ground in Russia, and Poland and trekked across some of America's most spectacular scenery in search of remarkable space rocks.


Meteorite Men continues to air in new markets around the world and has been seen by millions of viewers in the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, France, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Poland, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Rim and many other countries.

Steve and Geoff continue to work together any make numerous public appearances each year. Together or individually, they have appeared as keynote speakers at the Northewast Astronomy Forum, NewSpace for the Space Frontier Foundation, Stellafane, National Metal Detector Day and at many other events. Geoff is currently starring in the educational TV series Stem Journals and new adventures await!

Geoff Notkin of Meteorite Men is an award-winning author and columnist and his books Meteorite Hunting: How to Find Treasure from Space and Rock Star: Adventures of a Meteorite Man capture his lifelong fascinationg with meteorites and Meteorite Men's long and amazing career. Order both books safely and easily from our Meteorite Men shop.

Photography by Suzanne Morrison, Sonya Gay Bourn, Caroline Palmer and Ruth Rivin
All images © Aerolite Meteorites LLC