Lake Okeechobee, Florida (IP) - The giant meteor that bounced off of Lake Okeechobee yesterday has created social chaos along the southern shores of the lake. The meteor came in at a 10% angle and bounced off of the lake and headed back into space.
Debris from the meteor sits in shallow water near Rita Island just north of Clewiston. The chunks of meteor are estimated to be worth millions of dollars and a lot of folks would like to get their hands on the precious stones that sit in clear lake waters as shallow as twelve inches.
Law enforcement officials with the Florida Marine Patrol and Game and Wild Life officers set up a perimeter around the area where the meteorites landed. Folks from the surrounding rural areas began to show up in large numbers. They had brought air boats and other water craft in the hopes of picking up pieces of the valuable meteorites which are estimated to number in the hundreds.
Billy Joe Wooten's face turned red as he yelled at law enforcement officers from behind a barrier set up at a local boat ramp along Lake Okeechobee's rim canal. "What gives ya'll the right to lay claim to them there rocks ?" he hoarsely cried out. "You think you're a tough man just because you wear one of them badges?" The six foot four inch sheriff's deputy standing nearby looked at him but did not respond. The officer weighed in at about 280 pounds and there was very little fat on him. He had a taser on his side among other things.
Country music filled the air and some folks were drinking beer. The temperature was already 92 degrees (F) and the humidity was about the same. There was no breeze and almost no clouds to give relief to the South Florida sun that shined down relentlessly on the crowd. A fist fight broke out between two of the men in the crowd and a large number of jeering and cheering onlookers quickly formed a circle around the two men.
In a sharp southern accent one of the deputies began to talk loudly through a bull horn at the fighting men. "Now you ladies don't want me to come over there and have to break up your little dog fight do you ?" The men ignored the officer and the fight continued.
The officer went through the barrier and as he attempted to make his way through the crowd all hell broke loose. Someone took a swing at the deputy and suddenly a dozen other law officers began to run in the direction of the fight. The fight had now become a full blown riot. For these fellow fist fights were just like wrestling a pig in the mud. After a while you suddenly realize the pig really enjoys it.
The roaring sound of airplane engines which power the airboats suddenly came to life and three dozen air boats simultaneously lept into the rim canal waters right off the back of their trailers. The fight had been nothing more than a ruse and the deputies had swallowed the bait hook, line, and split shot. The airborts were soon joined by many other craft and now the race to reach the meteors was on full steam ahead.
These people knew their way around the lake with their eyes closed and soon they were on top of the meteorite field. The law enforcement officers and the scientists working in the area were out numbered. They radioed out for helicopters to come to their aid.
Many meteorites had already been located and carried off by the time the two olive green Huey jet helicopters arrived on the scene. The looters headed out in many different directions and so it was impossible for the authorities to go after everyone.
Back on shore paramedics were treating the injured members of the rioters and many of them were being placed on board buses and they would be taken to the county jail for processing.
By the time the sun set that day large numbers of meteorites had already begun to appear on cyber auctions.
One good ole boy with a cheek full of chewing tobacco joked, "Yesterday I couldn't even spell meteorite, today I are one".