What happened to the Apollo goodwill moon rocks?

Astronaut Harrison Schmitt collects samples on the Moon during the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972—president Richard Nixon ga
Astronaut Harrison Schmitt collects samples on the Moon during the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972—president Richard Nixon gave moon rocks from that mission and Apollo 11 to each of the world's nations and all US states as a token of goodwill

US President Richard Nixon gave moon rocks collected by Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 astronauts to 135 countries around the world and the 50 US states as a token of American goodwill.

While some hold pride of place in museums and scientific institutions, many others are unaccounted for—they have either gone missing, were stolen or even destroyed over the decades.

The list below recounts the stories of some of the missing moon rocks and others that were lost and later found.

It is compiled from research done by Joseph Gutheinz Jr, a retired NASA special agent known as the "Moon Rock Hunter," his students, and collectSPACE, a website which specializes in space history.

Afghanistan

Both the Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 moon rocks presented to perpetually war-wracked Afghanistan have vanished.

Cyprus

One of the moon rocks destined for Cyprus was never delivered due to the July 1974 Turkish invasion of the island and the assassination of the US ambassador the following month.

It was given to NASA years later by the son of a US diplomat but has not been handed over to Cyprus.

Honduras

Honduras's Apollo 17 was recovered by Gutheinz and Bob Cregger, a US Postal Service agent, in a 1998 undercover sting operation baptized "Operation Lunar Eclipse."

It had been sold to a Florida businessman, Alan Rosen, for $50,000 by a Honduran army colonel. Rosen tried to sell the rock to Gutheinz for $5 million. It was seized and eventually returned to Honduras.

Ireland

Ireland's Apollo 11 moon rock was on display in Dublin's Dunsink Observatory, which was destroyed in a 1977 fire.

Debris from the observatory—including the moon rock—ended up in the Finglas landfill.

Libya

The Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 moon rocks given to then Libyan leader Colonel Moamer Kadhafi have vanished.

Malta

Malta's Apollo 17 moon rock was stolen from a museum in May 2004. It has not been found.

Nicaragua

Nicaragua's Apollo 17 moon rock was allegedly sold to someone in the Middle East for $5-10 million.

Its Apollo 11 moon rock ended up with a Las Vegas casino owner, who displayed it for a time in his Moon Rock Cafe.

Bob Stupak's estate turned it over to NASA when he died. It has since been returned to Nicaragua.

Romania

Romania's Apollo 11 moon rock is on display in a museum in Bucharest.

Romania's Apollo 17 moon rock is believed to have been sold by the estate of former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who was executed along with his wife, Elena, on Christmas Day 1989.

Spain

Spain's Apollo 17 moon rock is on display in Madrid's Naval Museum after being donated by the family of Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, who was assassinated by the Basque separatist group ETA in 1973.

Spain's Apollo 11 is missing and is believed to be in the hands of the family of former dictator Francisco Franco.


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Jun 16, 2019
Operation Moon Rock

President Richard Nixon gave moon rocks
collected by Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 astronauts
to 135 countries around the world and the 50 US states as a token of American goodwill

This well intentioned goodwill gesture could have not been further from the truth
This web of intrigue deceit assassinations
Moon rock lost in fires
Bogus moon rock
Sold eternally to unsuspecting gullible souls
Who upon realising they'd been duped sold it to another gullible soul
For this greatest market of Moonchine fakery are back
Back for more Moonchine
In this secrecy of this darkside
To excavate more of this Moonchine elixir of life
These Moonchinerians crave
For whether real
Or whether fake
Its elixir of life is just as strong as this fakery placebo effect

p.s. the moral of this good will venture, we would have been better of keeping this regolith in NASA
then this Moonchine crime wave would have nare materialised

Jun 16, 2019
This is the eternal legacy of mankind, that men are subject to temptations; deceit; thievery; ill will towards their fellow man; disregard for such as Moon rocks as though they were cheap trinkets and easily gotten; and a lack of understanding and appreciation for the scientific aspects of Moon rocks and other artifacts from other Solar System bodies.

How similar are humans to animals fighting over a piece of raw meat.

Perhaps in the next 4 years of the Trump administration, the newest "samples return" of Moon rocks will not be used for bearing gifts to both friend and potential foe, but to keep the Moon rocks safe and secure in fireproof vaults for further study by bona fide geologists. One can only hope.

Jun 16, 2019
You two are dumber than the actual moon rocks.

Jun 16, 2019
b
You two are dumber than the actual moon rocks.
says Bertie Bot

On what basis? Or did you just feel inclined to say something - ANYthing just to be able to say something?

Jun 16, 2019
bernie, you have insulted moon rocks.
looneytick number 1...
granny,
you weren't suppose to smoke those moon rocks.

looneytick number 2
sillyegghead,
you siriusly want ro lock up moon rocks at Ft Knox
maybe re-purpose Cheyenne Mt?
these are freaking rocks for jeebus sake!
that only collectors of useless sports memorabilia
& useless celebrity autographs
would be gullible enough to value.
hey silly, how many closets of beanie babies do you still have?
sure, you just hang on to those.

after all, in your hallucinations you are never wrong about anything.
you must be right that the market for your "precious" beanie babies will come roaring back!
any day now... RME

if either of you idiots thought the matter through?
You would forbid any exploration of the Moon.
that'll keep the regolith safe!
for sure...

my advice,
sell your certified noon rocks today!
while the price is artificially high.
before elon or jeff or disney
start scooping up skiploads of moon rocks
to be sold back on Earth.

Jun 17, 2019
Bogus moon rock


Why would they fake SIX Moon landings? SIX you fool, six landings.

Jun 17, 2019
Bogus moon rock


Why would they fake SIX Moon landings? SIX you fool, six landings.
says O_C_C

rrwillsj has been REPORTED AGAIN for abusive and inappropriate language. Physorg comments is where rrwillsj turns to in order to make irrelevant and childish mental molestations instead of talking science and not only because the topic is handy. I strongly believe that rrwillsj is a patient at some out-of-the-way mental institution, and is allowed to use computers as therapy for whichever mental problem he or she suffers from. How else can it be that this person cannot go into a physorg phorum without debasing it with insulting language directed at those who are discussing the topic?

The Moon landings were not faked, as we all saw the astronauts coming back from the Moon after every manned mission. There was no place for the astronauts to hide while in LEO as there was no ISS at the time.
And what are 'beanie babies'?

Jun 17, 2019
rrwillsj has been REPORTED AGAIN for abusive and inappropriate language. Physorg comments is where rrwillsj turns to in order to make irrelevant and childish mental molestations
haha you even make your fellow loonies sick. Sorta reminds me of
How similar are humans to animals fighting over a piece of raw meat
-right? You're kinda similar to a human, but not quite...

Jun 17, 2019
sillyegg, you set the rules for discordant discourse, years ago

now you are whining that not only am i better at returning your infantile insults &
rebuking yourfraudulent propaganda

but that i accomplish displaying my superior intellect
with a hell of a lot more panache & élan
then you will ever be capable of!

Jun 17, 2019
panache & élan
ahahaa fruit & nüts haha

Jun 17, 2019
fruit & nüts mashed with fermented honey
rolled up with soured whipped cream
in my moma'smoma's finn pancakes?

truly scrumptious!

u warned you all...
o do it better
& i relish every bite i take out of you looneyticks.

"eat" your bituminous hearts out


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