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The 2009 Dutch "fake moon rock" incident

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The 2009 Dutch "fake moon rock" incident

Post  Admin on Mon May 23, 2011 4:48 am

Max Peck wrote:Hello everyone,

Here is an interesting story that caught my attention for obvious reasons. I looked into it and although the results give us some valuable insights, they are not of the kind I initially expected. Enjoy!

link -

Fake Dutch 'moon rock' revealed - BBC News, Friday, 28 August 2009.

A treasured piece at the Dutch national museum - a supposed moon rock from the first manned lunar landing - is nothing more than petrified wood, curators say.

It was given to former Prime Minister Willem Drees during a goodwill tour by the three Apollo-11 astronauts shortly after their moon mission in 1969.

When Mr Drees died, the rock went on display at the Amsterdam museum.

At one point it was insured for around $500,000 (£308,000), but tests have proved it was not the genuine article. The lump of 'moon rock' had been on display for decades.

The Rijksmuseum, which is perhaps better known for paintings by artists such as Rembrandt, says it will keep the piece as a curiosity.

"It's a good story, with some questions that are still unanswered," Xandra van Gelder, who oversaw the investigation that proved the piece was a fake, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

"We can laugh about it."

The "rock" had originally been been vetted through a phone call to Nasa, she added.

The US agency gave moon rocks to more than 100 countries following lunar missions in the 1970s.

US officials said they had no explanation for the Dutch discovery.

link -

US gave fake 'moon rock' to Dutch museum - ABC News, Saturday, August 29, 2009.

A treasured piece of moon rock showcased in a key Amsterdam museum is nothing but petrified wood, museum authorities said of a gift made to a former Dutch prime minister by a US envoy.

The exhibit at the Rijksmuseum, was originally gifted to Willem Drees in 1969 by then US ambassador William Middendorf as a souvenir of a pathbreaking trip by three US astronauts on July 20, 1969.

"When we received it, we insured it for 100,000 florins or 50,000 euros [$85,000] in today's money," said Xandra van Gelder, the editor-in-chief of the museum's internal magazine.

But she said that it was "hardly worth 50 euros," adding that museum authorities had been alerted by space and other experts.

This was confirmed by independent studies on the object, which is roughly the size of a matchbox.

"What is also strange is that in 1969, when Willem Drees was given this 'rock,' it was 11 years after he had stepped down as prime minister."

The US space agency NASA gifted pieces of the alleged moon rock to several countries.

The Rijksmusuem, one of the world's top museums, is better known for its vast collection of paintings by Rembrandt.

link -

Other news articles about the incident:

The Daily Mail -

The Telegraph -

CBC News -

...and many, MANY more. Spotted some inconsistencies yet? Suspect

At the 2010 Australian Geographic Awards Night, investigator Jarrah White confronted Buzz Aldrin with the story. Here is what happened:

Finally, here is the real story behind the so-called moon rock, brought to us by philwebb59. This is some excellent research and it saved me a lot of time - thanks a lot Phil! 👍


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