There are many unpleasant ways to wake up, but this one might top them all. On Oct. 3, a Canadian woman woke up to her dog barking, a loud crash and debris on her face. After jumping out of bed, turning on a light and discovering a fist-size hole in the ceiling, 66-year-old Ruth Hamilton of Golden, British Columbia, made a flustered call to the police department.
“I’ve never been so scared in my life,” Hamilton told the Canadian Press. “I wasn’t sure what to do so I called 911 and, when I was speaking with the operator, I flipped over my pillow and saw that a rock had slipped between two pillows.”
An officer who came to investigate suspected it came from a nearby construction site. However, after making a call, he learned no one had done any blasting at the site but that workers had seen a bright ball in the sky right around that time.
“And the police officer came back in and said: ‘Well, I think you have meteorite in your bed,'” Hamilton told CTV News.
Phil McCausland, a geophysicist at the University of Western Ontario, was excited to see photos of the rock in an email. A team of researchers from the University of Calgary working with Western University traveled to Golden. They met with Hamilton to borrow the meteorite for research. They also searched the area for other fragments. Along with the 2.8-pound rock the size of a large man’s fist that had just missed Hamilton’s head, the researchers also found a second meteorite just northeast of town.
Although hundreds of meteorites land on the Earth every year, few are recovered. However, experts state the chance of one hitting your home is about 1 in 4 trillion.
“The odds of that happening are so small,” Hamilton told the Canadian Press, “so I’m pretty grateful to be alive.”
Hamilton was asked during an interview whether she plans to buy a lottery ticket after her experience.
“I won the lottery,” she told CTV News. “I won it, I’m alive. I’m laughing about it. I feel pretty blessed.”
She is also awed by the close encounter with something so ancient from outer space.
“I’m just totally amazed over the fact that it is a star that came out of the sky. It’s maybe billions of years old,” she told Newsweek.