“The US space agency Nasa recently announced that many of the Moon rocks brought back to Earth from two Apollo space missions have gone missing. They were given as gifts to the nations of the world. So what happened to them?
Towards the end of the Apollo 17 mission on 13 December 1972, Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt – the last men to have set foot on the Moon – picked up a rock.
Cernan announced: “We’d like to share a piece of this rock with so many of the countries throughout the world.”
His wish was fulfilled.
President Richard Nixon ordered that the brick-sized rock be broken up into fragments and sent to 135 foreign heads of state and the 50 US states.
Each “goodwill Moon rock” was encased in a lucite ball and mounted on a wooden plaque with the recipient nations’ flag attached.
Moon rock collected during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969 was also distributed to the same nations and US states.
There were 370 pieces gathered for this purpose from the two missions. Two hundred and seventy were given to nations of the world and 100 to the 50 US states.
But 184 of these are lost, stolen or unaccounted for – 160 around the world and 24 in the US.
The rocks were distributed to countries ranging from Afghanistan to Trinidad and Tobago.
“Gaddafi’s government was given two Moon rocks – they’re missing. Romania is missing its Apollo 17 goodwill Moon rock,” says Joseph Gutheinz Jr, the Texas-based lawyer and former Nasa agent, who has become known as the “Moon rock hunter”. His search continues… story credited to BBC News
Speaking of missing Moon rocks, New Robert Spire thriller IMPACT POINT out now on the Kindle involves Spire in the investigation of multiple blue whale deaths after two of the world’s largest ever creatures wash up on both sides of the Atlantic. The mystery deepens following the discovery of the mineral olivine in the mammal’s blood.
The death of philanthropist Julian Smithies in the USA opens up a new lead after a rare and valuable olivine-rich meteorite is stolen from his home.
Spire finds himself on a dangerous adventure as he and marine biologist Dr Sally Rivea travel to the Bahamas in an attempt to uncover the clues. The more they discover, the more the terrifying truth is revealed. Can the seemingly inevitable cataclysm be prevented?
Robert Spire’s latest adventure might be the world’s last…