According to local news reports, many residents feared that the “skyrock” was really a radioactive piece of a Soviet satellite that had fallen from orbit. One article from the January 31, 1983 edition of the Knox News-Sentinel showcases a large photo of a Civil Air Patrol member testing the meteorite with a period Civil Defense Geiger counter. The scenario seems amusingly absurd to me in today. but 36 years ago the world - along with peoples understanding of meteorite science - was a very different place.
Here is that photo with the accompanying headline. Enjoy!