At least it wasn't a Boulder…

By Phil Plait | June 1, 2010 12:00 pm

I swear, I had nothing to do with this.

It looks suspicious, I know. But to be honest, I’d rather wait until we can bring back tons of Moon rocks at a time. It might make them less valuable, but no less cool.

[UPDATE: The rock, apparently, has been found. Thanks, Barstein!]

Tip o’ the spacesuit visor to Fark.

MORE ABOUT: Moon rocks

Comments (14)

  1. Messier Tidy Upper

    A likely story BA! ūüėČ

    The plaque, with its golf-ball-sized sphere enclosing bits of the moon, was presented to Gov. John Vanderhoof by astronaut Jack Lousma on Jan. 9, 1974.

    Presented by astronaut Jack Lousma eh? You’d think they’d have got one of the Moon walkers to present it wouldn’t you? I guess they *were* kept very busy & all but still.

    Half of the Moon rocks we brought back are missing? That’s staggering really. 0_0

    “It’s very sad,” Parker said. “We brought back these things that were priceless and presented them so everyone could share in the glory of man landing on the moon. You’d think people would hold them in esteem, and secure and display them properly, so people could enjoy them.”

    Yes, yes I would think so & yes that’s sad. :-(

    I did read an SF novel “Moonseed”(Voyager,1998) by Stephen Baxter where one girl was given some lunar dust and ate it as an almost mystical rite. The moon rock there played a rather pivotal role as suggested by the title -hopefully this missing lunar material isn’t anything like what was imagined in that! ūüėČ

  2. Messier Tidy Upper

    For more info. onthe novel via Wiki natch – see :

    & for more on Jack Lousma’s career see :

    Turns out he was a Republican politician as well as a Skylab & Shuttle guy. He also was on the recieving end of the “Houston we’ve got a problem” call from Apollo 13 serving as capcom for that.

  3. Peptron

    If people used moon stones as energy stones, would that make them lunatic?

  4. I remember reading in the 1980s that lunar rocks were practically worthless. I don’t know where I read it, but I couldn’t fathom how something so rare and so costly to obtain could be considered worthless. And apparently they aren’t.

    The saddest thought is that someone just thew it away, not knowing what it was. Ugggh!

  5. Douglas Troy

    Plausible Deniability … we understand Phil … you didn’t know about them, how could you, right? It’s not like your an astronomer that eats, sleeps and breaths this stuff …

    oh. wait.

  6. JoeZo

    You can buy JUMBO MOON ROCKS on ebay for $9.99 with free shipping.

  7. Oldtrekkie

    For some reason this past 2-3 weeks I’ve only gotten one BA newsletter. Can someone direct me to where I need to go to resign-up again? It’s been several years, & I forget where I signed up the first time…

  8. Sarah

    $5 Million for “a golf ball sized” sample?

    Whoa. Now there’s a commercial motive for going back to the Moon. Just imagine, set up a base and lob cannisters of rock back down to earth with a mass-driver linear accelerator… Okay, it would saturate the market.

  9. bouch

    I still have the “piece of the berlin wall” that my parents gave me one Christmas. I’m pretty certain they spent about $20 for it, and now I see the exact same thing is selling for half that on ebay (item #110538192584, and yes, I have that exact box)

    And they have no clue where rocks from the frakin’ MOON are? yeesh…

  10. ccpetersen

    I just got finished with a project for NASA and part of it involved a moon rock. The chain of custody on the one we procured for the project was incredibly complex and strict. And now we find it’s on a former governor’s desk…

  11. Peter B

    Messier Tidy Upper said @ #1: “Half of the Moon rocks we brought back are missing?”

    No, that’s not the case. About half of the Apollo Moon rocks presented as official gifts have disappeared. The vast majority of the Apollo Moon rocks are quite safe in NASA’s custody.

  12. rob

    Paul Weissmann: Halt! Hallo! Hallo!
    guard: ‘Allo! Who is zis?
    Paul Weissmann: It is Rep. Paul Weissmann, and these are the Investigators of the Moon Rocks. Who’s castle is this?
    guard: This is the castle of Our Master Ruiz’ de lu la Ramper.
    Paul Weissmann: Go and tell your master that we have been charged by NASA with a sacred quest. If he will give us food and shelter for the night he can join us in our quest for the Lost Moon Rocks.
    guard: Well, I’ll ask him, but I don’t think he’ll be very keen…Uh, he’s already got one, you see?
    Paul Weissmann: What?
    Joseph Gutheinz: He says they’ve already got one!
    Paul Weissmann: Are you sure he’s got one?
    guard: Oh, yes, it’s very nice-[To Other guards] I told him we already got one.
    other guards: [Laughing]
    Paul Weissmann: Well, um, can we come up and have a look?
    guard: Of course not! You are forensic investigator types!
    Paul Weissmann: Well, what are you then?
    guard: I’m French! Why do think I have this outrageous accent, you silly representative!
    Joseph Gutheinz: What are you doing in Colorado?
    guard: Mind your own business!
    Paul Weissmann: If you will not show us the Moon Rock, we shall take your castle by force!
    guard: You don’t frighten us, investigator pig-dogs! Go and boil your bottoms, sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called Paul Weissmann-representative, you and all your silly investigator kaniggets. Thppppt!
    Joseph Gutheinz: What a strange person.

  13. Today’s paper here in Charlottesville reports that Gov. John Vanderhoof had the rock at his house. He’s going to return it ASAP.


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