Author Topic: Malta's moon rock stolen!  (Read 12187 times)

electrobleme

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Malta's moon rock stolen!
« on: February 20, 2012, 19:30:43 »
Malta's moon rock stolen!

Malta's moon rock was stolen from the National Museum of Natural History in Mdina on Tuesday May 18, 2004.

It seems that moon rocks from the Apollo 17 moon mission were given us Goodwill Moon Rock gifts to heads of states of the countries on earth and other important people.

Malta's stolen moon rock is valued at around $5 million.


Malta's moon rock stolen in 2004


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The theft of the rock, donated to the Mediterranean island nation by US President Richard Nixon 30 years ago, was discovered on Tuesday during a routine check.

A protective cover of plastic had been forced open to take the raisin-sized rock from the Museum of Natural History in Mdina.

The rock was picked up in a lunar valley named Taurus-Littrow during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, the last of the Apollo moon-landing missions.

It was one of many moon samples given to nations of the world by the United States.

A Maltese flag displayed next to the rock - which the US astronauts had taken up with them - was not taken.



malta's moon rock theft from the National Museum of Natural History in Mdina on Tuesday May 18, 2004

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"I once offered $10,000 for the recovery of Malta's stolen Apollo 17 goodwill moon rock but it still hasn't been recovered," he says.

"I know for certain that this was an amateur thief as he only took the rocks, and not the self-authenticating plaque."

Gutheinz concedes he will never be able to recover all of the missing moon rocks - many are now in private collections - but says there are some he particularly wants back.

"Definitely the Malta moon rock. I'd really like to see that back, and the Romanian rock. If I go to Europe, I will hunt that one down. I have a few ideas as to how I'll do that.
What has happened to Nasa's missing moon rocks? | bbc.co.uk



electrobleme

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Malta's moon rock theft story
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2012, 19:49:35 »

Malta's moon rock theft story

Malta's moon rock theft occurred on May 18th, 2004 from the National Museum of Natural History in Mdina and Malta's Goodwill moon rock was never recovered after being stolen.


Malta moon rock displayed in the National Museum of Natural History in Mdina before the theft in 2004


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A retired Nasa inspector has urged Malta to make another attempt to repossess the moon rock stolen from the Mdina museum over a year ago, amid claims that it has probably not been put up for sale

For over a year, Dr Gutheinz's students have conducted research papers on the goodwill moon rocks and have established that Malta's stone has not been placed for sale, at least in any of the traditional forums like auction houses or on eBay.

"We have checked media outlets all over the world and there is not even a hint that the moon rock has been placed for sale. I still believe that Malta's moon rock was taken by an amateur who took advantage of the lack of security," Dr Gutheinz told The Times.

For over 30 years, Malta's goodwill moon rock was exhibited at the Natural History Museum in Mdina. In May of last year, a plastic protective cover was forced open and the moon rock, which was encased in a sphere of transparent plastic called Lucite, was prized off a wooden plaque.

A small Maltese flag which had been flown to the moon and two commemorative plaques were attached to the wooden plaque but were not stolen.

When contacted, Heritage Malta chairman Mario Tabone confirmed that no headway had been made in retrieving the moon rock.

But Dr Gutheinz, winner of the Nasa Exceptional Service Medal, believes that the stolen moon rock could still be in Malta, in some young person's shoebox, collecting dust. He feels that an offer of amnesty coupled with a reward may cause the moon rock to resurface.

Ex-Nasa inspector calls for offer of amnesty | timesofmalta.com


Maltese (Malta) Apollo 17 moon rock stolen - the theft has never been sold or recovered