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.
Project Serpo and the Zeta Reticuli Exchange Program
In November 1977, Steven Spielberg released his movie, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” It was a financial and artistic success. It received a number of accolades, including nominations for four Golden Globes and eight Academy Awards. In 2007, the U.S. Library Of Congress deemed the film “culturally, historically and aesthetically significant” and chose it for preservation in the library “for all time.” Read the purported story of Project Serpo, then consider the evidence.
UFO Encounter Classification
For those new to the topic, the title of Spielberg’s movie came from the UFO classification developed by astronomer and UFO researcher, J. Allen Hynek’s Classification of UFO encounters: + Encounters of the first kind: Someone sees a UFO at a distance closer than 500 feet and is able to give a pretty good description of the object + Encounters of the second kind: The viewing of an UFO creates a physical sensation. For example, the encounter may involve a feeling of heat, or a feeling of paralysis in the body + Encounters of the third kind: Encounters in which a type of “animated creature” accompanies the UFO encounter.
Hynek was an Advisor to the U.S. Air Force on several of its UFO study projects. While he was bound by security clearances, he was undoubtedly privy to information that he was unable to share publicly. He also had a cameo appearance in the Spielberg movie.
In the movie, there are human encounters with extraterrestrials (ETs) and, in the end, one person voluntarily decides to join the ETs and travel with them back to their planet. Could there be any truth to this story? Is it possible that Earth has contacted ETs or that Americans have visited other planets? Read about the Serpo Exchange Program and President Ronald Reagan’s knowledge of Project Serpo.
The Exchange Program Between Earth and Project Serpo In the Zeta Reticuli System
The Planet Serpo exchange project traces its origins to the Famous Roswell Incident where a UFO reportedly crashed in the plains near Socorro, New Mexico, on May 31, 1947. The remains of the craft and one living ET, along with the bodies of his four dead companions, were taken to Roswell for analysis. Meanwhile, the government reported to the American public by telling them they had only seen weather balloons.
As it turned out, there were Two Crashes. The remains of the second UFO were not found until about two years later. It appeared the two spacecraft had crashed into each other. By then, six bodies of dead aliens had decomposed, so there wasn’t much of them left. Even so, the remains were taken to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base for evaluation and study.