There is a high ridge that goes all around the crater and there is no way that it can be seen from the ground.
Well, about this ridge. I, my own personal self, have never seen this ridge, but I have to assume it is not exactly Himalayan in size.
Next, the meteor that created Meteor Crater did so about 50,000 years ago, so you pretty much have to assume that some folks that were around here before the Europeans showed up must have found the crater.
As long as we're discussing such matters, I've always wondered what the first people to see the Grand Canyon must have thought of it. They must have said, in whatever language they spoke, "Holy moley, look at that."
Or maybe not.
Anyway, I don't know who the first Europeans to see the crater might have been, but I do know that it was formed when a nickel-iron meteorite about 54 yards across hit the spot with an impact of about 10 megatons.
At first, a geologist named Grove Karl Gilbert pronounced in 1891 it had been caused by a volcano.
In 1903, a mining engineer named Daniel Moreau Barringer figured out the true cause of the crater, but geologists expressed some doubts about his idea.
Finally, in 1960, a researcher named Eugene Shoemaker proved beyond a doubt that the crater was formed by the impact of a large meteorite.