Surprised while sunbathing on Binningup Beach

Article | Updated 3 weeks ago

Back in 1984, Theresa and Kathleen were minding their own business while sunbathing on Binningup Beach (just north of Bunbury), when they heard a terrifying noise. At first they thought it was a gun-shot. They certainly never suspected they were about to become part of WA history.

newspaper clipping in photo album reads 'meteorite find invaluable'


Courtesy of Kathleen Smith and Theresa Davies 

In fact, the noise was caused by a meteorite, the size of a potato, landing on the beach just near them - so close it showered them in sand. The noise was so loud it was heard in Perth.

Alice Ryder (Audience Advocate) has been working with Kathleen and Alan Smith, and Theresa and Gordon Davies, to share this unique story.

Listen to Theresa, Kathleen, Alan and Gordon tell the story here.

If you would like a transcript of this interview, you can download one below.

two women hold up newspaper headline reads meteorite just misses bathers

Theresa and Kathleen hold their copy of The West Australia's headline about their story.
Image copyright WA Museum

One of the Museum's scientists, Dr Alex Bevan, was a young man from England visiting Perth when Theresa and Kathleen's story broke in 1984. It inspired him to relocate to Perth and study meteorites. He is now head of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the Museum. The Museum has an extensive collection of meteorites which hold clues about the origin and evolution of our solar system.

This is a great example of how we can share both personal stories and science together in the New Museum.

Download Transcript

Binningup Beach Interview Transcript