Neil Armstrong Gifted a Girl Moon Dust, Now NASA Wants It Back
If Neil Armstrong gifted you a vial of moon dust when you were a child, you would probably cherish it your entire life, at least that’s what Laura Ann Cicco did. But when NASA became aware she was in possession of “lunar material,” it sought to confiscate the gift from her, more than 40 years later.
Now Cicco, née Murray, is suing the space agency to hold on to her prized gift from the famed astronaut. Cicco and her attorney are contending that lunar material is not contraband and that it is not illegal to possess moon rocks. Cicco says she is the rightful owner of the sample and that there is no law preventing her from owning it.
The dust has been tested and results say it has been cross-contaminated with earthly material, likely from being vacuumed out of a spacesuit or maybe simply from being on Earth for so long. But the report did find consistencies with “the known composition of lunar regolith,” saying “there is no evidence to rule out a lunar origin.”
A signed, personalized note from Armstrong himself was also analyzed and determined to be authentic, adding to the sample’s veracity.
But there is some precedent for NASA’s desire for the vial, as it has repossessed lunar samples in the past. In April 2013, 20 vials of moon dust were discovered sitting in a warehouse at Berkeley National Laboratory that had been forgotten for 40 years. NASA got them back, though the lab was quick to oblige as it was run by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Last year, a bag of moon dust sold at auction for nearly $2 million, after Nancy Lee Carlson purchased it through a federal auction website for $995. Before the auction, Carlson sent it to NASA for verification, but found that the agency refused to give it back. Carlson sued and had the sample returned to her, promising to contribute some of the auction money to charitable causes.
Ironically, Carlson’s bag of moon dust was originally confiscated as part of a multitude of stolen items found in the home of a Kansas space museum owner, named Max Ary. Police seized a number of items from Ary, before selling them at government auctions, apparently not realizing they should be returned to NASA.
When it comes to moon rocks and space dust, it’s likely NASA is so protective due to the frequency of con artists selling counterfeit samples. NASA agents will frequently go undercover to bust people, including the time in 2011 when agents ran a sting operation on a 74-year-old woman in a Denny’s parking lot. The woman, Joann David, said her husband was gifted her granular lunar sample from Armstrong as well, much like Cicco.
But while David’s attempt to sell her sample was probably legal, there have in fact, been quite a few cases of counterfeit deals NASA has intercepted over the years.
Of the more than 800 pounds of lunar samples brought to Earth during the Apollo missions, many samples were given to foreign countries and private individuals as gifts, though NASA claims this was under the pretense they still remained government property – essentially, they were loaned. Though it’s now estimated that 90 countries and 10 U.S. states cannot account for their samples. So, when they end up in the hands of private individuals, who’s to blame?
It was determined that 180 of the 270 moon rocks brought back to Earth from Apollo missions are unaccounted for. These are mostly rocks gifted to foreign nations by the Nixon Administration, known as Goodwill Moon Rocks. One of these rocks, gifted to Honduras, was recovered during a sting operation in Miami, but most remain missing, likely hidden in private collections throughout the world.
Glitch Discovered In Saturn's Rings By Cassini Spacecraft Images
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft recently ended its 20-year mission to Saturn. It was the first spacecraft to ever orbit the massive gas giant to study the planet’s myriad features, such as its extensive system of rings. These seemingly perfect bands of ice and rock had been photographed before and were thought to be mostly understood by astronomers, until Cassini found a rare exception: A glitch on the outer edge of the planet’s A-ring.
Is Peggy Just a Moonlet?
Launched in 1997, the Cassini spacecraft has always been on a suicide mission, albeit one filled with scientific discovery. That mission lasted just under 20 years, and its final days resulted in some of the most exciting images of the second largest planet in our solar system. The spacecraft discovered two new moons, deployed a probe that landed on Titan, and slipped between two layers of rings in its orbit.
Over its 10-year orbital period, images from Cassini began to show something that has still gone unexplained, a glitch in one of the rings. This glitch was first discovered by a long-time member of the imaging team, Carl Murray, who named it after his mother-in-law, Peggy, whose birthday it was.
When first imaged in 2013, Peggy was about 1.5 miles wide, and imperfect compared to Saturn’s otherwise pristine circuits. Because of its tiny size, the Cassini spacecraft was unable to capture it in great detail or within close proximity, but it was enough to recognize its anomalous nature. Murray and his NASA colleagues said they believed Peggy to be either a moon in the making or a moonlet disintegrating, as she got smaller during future imaging.
Saturn’s rings consist of countless particles of ice and rock that orbit within the Roche Limit, an area where the planet’s gravitational force becomes so strong it rips apart small celestial bodies, such as asteroids and meteors. Typically, these particles will coalesce to form moons, but Saturn’s pull prevents this, instead maintaining their orbit. These small lunar building blocks are sometimes referred to as moonlets.
At first, scientists believed Peggy might have been a full-fledged moon, disrupting the flow of Saturn’s orbiting moonlets, but this theory was discounted because they would have expected it to create more chaos.
According to NASA, it has been difficult to track Peggy, as she’s not always been where they expect her to be. And though scientists believe Peggy may have been a nascent moon at one point, she still remains within the not-fully-explained category of Saturn’s features.
Strange Features In Images From Cassini Spacecraft
The Cassini spacecraft gave us quite a bit of new information about Saturn’s many moons, including the fact that some of them could potentially support life. The Huygens probe, carried by the Cassini spacecraft, landed on Titan, a moon with a significant amount of surface water.
Another of Saturn’s moons, Enceladus, is thought to contain vast oceans beneath a layer of ice on its surface. These discoveries have raised the question of whether there is a possibility of life on these moons, as well as some other interesting theories.
The most unusual moon in Saturn’s orbit is one known as Iapetus. This walnut-shaped satellite has some odd features which some believe are characteristic of an artificial satellite. One half of the moon is bright white, while the other side is dark black with almost no reflectivity. There is a ridge running along its equator that alternative theorists have likened to two independent half-shells welded together. Others have imagined it to possibly be a wall of sorts.
Some have pointed out that it’s odd shape resembles a dodecahedron, evidence of artificial construction compared to the more spherical shape of natural satellites. Further study of Iapetus’ lunar surface shows additional geometric features with lines just a little too straight to be the product of natural mechanisms.
David Icke has proposed the idea that Saturn’s rings are actually artificial, based largely on a book titled Ringmakers of Saturn. He says he believes that Saturn is a broadcasting system, amplifying a frequency that is directly tied to our perception of reality. He points to the similarity between the rings of Saturn and information encoded on a CD or DVD.
Icke says he believes this signal is malevolent and that it’s broadcasting a false reality. He says these satellites orbiting Saturn are electromagnetic vehicles creating the rings, and that one can see exhaust being emitted in the process. Icke says he believes Saturn used to be a star like the sun, but that it is now being used to resonate sound frequencies.
There are, in fact, strange radio signals being broadcast from Saturn which can be found on NASA’s website. Could these eerie tones, that sound like something straight out of a horror movie, actually have an effect on Earth and our consciousness?
Another bizarre discovery on Saturn that has puzzled scientists and alternative theorists alike, is the massive hexagonal storm on the planet’s north pole. This storm stretches over 20,000 miles wide and reaches down at least 60 miles into the planet’s atmosphere. Its distinctively straight sides show how the winds in this gaseous storm shift direction drastically, a phenomenon never observed before.
David Wilcock draws the connection between the storm’s shape and Hans Jenny’s discovery of colloidal suspension. Jenny showed the way that sound frequencies create geometric patterns in solutions where particles are suspended in water and gas.
Could there be a connection between Icke’s theory of Saturn as a frequency transmitter and this massive hexagonal storm on the its north pole?