NASA Arrest Moon Rock Bandit – Why Selling Moon Rocks is Illegal

Several month’s ago NASA arrested a 74 year-old grandmother who was trying to sell a piece of the Apollo-era moon rock the size of a grain of rice for $1.7 million dollars. Imagine if you had a piece the size of a golf ball. Here is the thing though, apparently NASA is very very stingy when it comes to moon rocks. When the Apollo Missions came back to Earth, they brought back several pounds of rocks. NASA then split the rocks and gave each nation and US State a different rock as a symbolic gesture. Since then, several rocks have gone missing and no one really knows where they went to. Attempting to sell a moon rock has two consequences:

1) If the rock is fake, then you go to jail for fraud
2) If the rock is real, then you go to jail for stealing government property

Either way, you’re going to end up inside the “state hotel” where a big guy or gal named Bubba is going to look at you and say “you’re my little puppy now.” Joann Davis, the Grandmother who was trying to sell the rock, claimed that she obtained the rock from her now deceased husband who worked as an engineer on an Apollo mission. She went on to tell police that it was Neil Armstrong himself who gave the rock t her husband.

She claimed that she didn’t know she was committing an offence,  and was only selling the rock to help out her sick son and then leave an inheritance for her family after her death. Apparently, Davis went out and started to find buyers on the internet, unknown to her, a NASA contractor ended up stumbling onto the little old lady and immediately notified his employers. NASA quickly set up a sting operation and got down to busting the old lady. According to NASA documents, she was using words like “black market” and “underground,” leading investigators to believe that she knew she was doing something illegal.

She eventually came up with a price and a location for the transfer of goods, a Local Denny’s Restaurant. Once at the restaurant the story doesn’t get better, the usual things happened. She pulls out the rock from her nickle purse, she gives it to the buyer, NASA comes out of nowhere to arrest her… Davis get’s scared, pees her pants (yes this really did happen) and then she get’s taken away.

Since the incident, Davis has been released, and apparently never received any real charges. According to NASA, employees do actually give small paperweight gifts out to other employees like the small rice size moon rock, but Armstrong stated that he NEVER gave a moon rock away. But none of the less, NASA takes Moon Rock sales extremely serious, they are still trying to find the missing rocks so what ever little rock they do find, they are going to make a big deal out of it.

Davis learned her lesson, NASA got their piece of rice back, Deny’s cleaned a dirty mess, and everyone is happy…

Telegraph U.K.