Only one problem: there was no confirmed debris from the blast.
This was one of the two biggest mysteries of the blast. The explosion was huge, like a nuclear weapon, yet it left no crater, and no debris. It was later determined that it was probably a chunk of rocky asteroid that blew up in the air miles above the ground. The rock disintegrated, and since it didn’t hit the ground there was no crater. Trees were knocked down for miles, and the blast wave in the air was detected around the world. But the meteoroid itself vaporized, and no chunks have ever been found.
Interestingly, the article about the theft says:
The giant rock was stolen from the yard of the Tunguska Space Event foundation, whose director said it was the part of meteor that caused a massive explosion in Siberia in 1908, news agency Interfax reported.
Hmmm, you’d think such a foundation would have a web page, but I couldn’t find it. You’d also think the director of such a foundation would know that no debris was ever found. However, later in the article, though, there is this:
Foundation director Yury Lavbin brought the three-tonne rock to Krasnoyarsk after an 2004 expedition to the site of the so-called “Tunguska event” … Mr Lavbin claimed at the time to have discovered the wreckage of an alien spacecraft during the expedition.
Ah, that clears it up. My mistake. The rock was clearly from the space aliens; it must have survived in their cargo hold after their ship exploded with the force of several megatons. Obviously, these were no ordinary thieves: they were the aliens, coming back for their rock. They must really like it.
As a friend of mine used to say, “there are no winners here”. So the guy who claims the rock was from the event is fairly obviously a crackpot, the thieves risked prison time over an ordinary rock, and no doubt there will be a third party who will pay good money for what is really just a chunk of junk.
Maybe the only smart party here is the thieves: it may be ordinary rock, but I’m sure they’ll make a lot of money from it.
Cripes. I’m in the wrong business.