A lucky man’s life was changed in an instant when a five-pound surprise from outer space smashed through his roof and buried itself in his garden.
Josua Hutagalung was assembling a coffin when the 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite slammed into the earth next to his home and buried itself six inches deep.
And as soon as word got out that Josua had the space rock – valued at £1.4 million – an expert raced to his home in Kolang, North Sumatra, to buy it from him.
He said: “I was working on a coffin near the street in front of my house when I heard a booming sound that made my house shake. It was as if a tree had fallen on us.”
Josua, 33, says said the rock was still hot from its journey through the Earth’s atmosphere when he first touched it.
His wife helped him dig the meteorite out of the ground with a hoe and they took it indoors.
“When I lifted it, the stone was still warm and I brought it into the house,” he told Kompas.
He added: “The sound was so loud that parts of the house were shaking too. And after I searched, I saw that the tin roof of the house had broken.”
After analysis, the meteorite was classified as CM1/2 carbonaceous Chondrite, an extremely rare find that carries the chemical building blocks believed to have seeded life in the early Solar system.
Meteorite expert Jared Collins, who is based in Bali, was sent to secure the rare meteorite: “My phone lit up with crazy offers for me to jump on a plane and buy the meteorite.
“It was in the middle of the Covid crisis and frankly it was a toss-up between buying the rock for myself or working with scientists and collectors in the US.
“I carried as much money as I could muster and went to find Josua, who turned out to be a canny negotiator.”
Jared paid Josua the equivalent of 30 years’ salary for his meteorite.
After doing a deal with Josua, Jared shipped the rock to the US, and it’s now in the collection of Jay Piatek, a doctor and meteorite collector from Indianapolis.
Josua, who has three sons, said he now plans to retire, but would also use some of the money that he got for his meteorite to build a church in his community.
“I have also always wanted a daughter, and I hope this is a sign that I will be lucky enough now to have one,” he told The Sun.