I don’t know about you, but I had no idea that every moon rock in the country was considered to be government property. I can recall as a kid the local planetarium selling what they claimed to be moon rocks for $5 each. One elderly woman apparently tried to sell a chunk of moon rock her husband left her when he died and ended up the target of a NASA and law enforcement sting.
The sting was made in a southern California restaurant. The 73-year-old woman was the target of a sting with the goal of catching the woman selling government property. The woman is Joann Davis who was trying to sell the stone to leave an inheritance for her kids and help her sick son. The tiny piece of moon rock was said to be smaller than a grain of rice and encased in what appeared to be a paperweight.
Davis says that Neil Armstrong gave the tiny piece of rock to her husband, who was an engineer for North American Rockwell in the 60’s. She maintains that the rock was her legal property though NASA says that all of the lunar rocks were gathered by the Apollo missions and are therefore government property. Apparently, Davis had said in the past that she would sell the rock for big money on the underground market, seemingly acknowledging she could not sell the rock on the open market. Davis has claimed she was so scared that she lost control of her bladder and was left with bruises from the law enforcement officer’s rough handling of her.