Did you know NASA has undercover agents? They do, and they’ll bust you if you try to sell fake moon rocks.
She claimed she had a piece of the moon, and it could be yours if you could afford the astronomical price she was demanding. Unfortunately for the woman, it turns out that her prospective buyer was an undercover investigator for NASA (side note: if there is a sexier job title out there, I have yet to hear it), and she’s been detained by Riverside County sherff’s deputies.
The woman was asking $1.7 million (though it may have been $1.6, the original article lists both figures) for the rock. When she and her buyer agreed on a price, they met at a restaurant in Lake Elsinore (roughly 70 miles south of Los Angeles). NASA is currently conducting tests to see if the rock is genuine or not. At the moment, the woman isn’t under arrest, nor is it clear how she came to possess the rock (provided it’s the real deal).
In case you weren’t aware of this, it’s totally illegal to sell moon rocks. The only ones released to the public by Richard Nixon were given out to each U.S. state and 136 countries by then-president Richard Nixon, but they’re highly-sought after by collectors and apparently sell for millions of dollars on the black market.
However, a recent survey showed that ten states and ninety countries couldn’t account for the rocks that had been given to them. As a result, NASA has a division of investigators who track down the missing lunar rocks.
What will be interesting to see is if the rock the woman tried to sell was actually a real piece of the moon. If it is, I’m curious about where she got it from. However, there’s a bigger question here: How can I get hired as a NASA investigator, and would I get a badge that I could impress dates with?
Source: Associated Press