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The Case of the Missing Moon Rocks (Kindle Single) by [Kloc, Joe]
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The Case of the Missing Moon Rocks (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Length: 47 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Of the 842 pounds of moon rocks that the Apollo missions brought home, all are kept in NASA vaults. All, that is, except a couple hundred "Goodwill Moon Rocks." These 1.5 gram pebbles were mounted on plaques and gifted to states, nations, and one man, Walter Cronkite. One of the very few things that Americans are not allowed to own is a moon rock collected by NASA missions. (Technically, NASA just loaned the rock to Cronkite.) Yet con men routinely attempt to sell moon rocks, and many of the Goodwill rocks, laden with Space-Race history and valued at five million dollars each, have fallen out of state hands. In this Kindle Single, history and science writer Joe Kloc follows NASA senior special agent Joseph Gutheinz as he quixotically tracks down the missing moon rocks. –Paul Diamond

Product Details

  • File Size: 162 KB
  • Print Length: 47 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: The Atavist (February 19, 2012)
  • Publication Date: February 19, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007BGZNZ8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #683,680 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Enjoyable little book and a former NASA investigator who becomes obsessed with moon rocks.

Not as great as "Sex on the Moon", but a fascinating tale of someone who wants to find out the whereabouts of all of the moon rocks that Nixon gave out around the world.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Welcome to the world of space-crime, where the bad guys are intent on picking NASA's loosely guarded pockets by embezzling money budgeted for the Mir space station, by trafficking in artifacts from the Challenger disaster and most of all by selling lunar rocks brought back to Earth by Apollo astronauts.

During 17 lunar missions between 1961 and 1972, the Apollo program landed six spacecraft on the moon. Twelve Apollo astronauts remain the only humans to have walked on a celestial body other than Earth. They brought back nearly 900 pounds of lunar material and most of those rocks remain locked in NASA vaults.

As a goodwill gesture and to promote world order and peace, President Nixon in 1973 had one particular moon rock known as Sample 70017 cut into fragments and given on behalf of America to all U.S. states and 135 countries around the globe.

The "Goodwill Moon Rocks" each weigh in at an insignificant 1.5 grams, but they've become a huge obsession of Joseph Gutheinz, who has become a modern-day Don Quixote in his quest to recover some of those missing rocks, which over time have been lost, stolen or simply disappeared. When they do turn up it's usually on the Black Market and at asking prices in the millions.

Gutheinz wants the lunar artifacts returned where they belong. Operation Lunar Eclipse remains his most daring and successful sting. Posing as a wealthy collector, he was able to recover and return a missing rock to the Honduran government. A Florida fruit wholesaler had been offering to sell the rock for $5 million.

In his story, reprinted from the February 2012 issue of "The Atavist," Kloc follows Gutheinz in his erratic quest and also heads out on the trail of some of the other missing rocks.
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This is less a book than an extended journalistic account of the behind-the-scenes search for missing and misplaced moon rocks. Don't expect a lot of atmosphere - The Right Stuff this is not. Still, some interesting facts about the fate of some of the moon rocks that were given as presents by President Nixon during the Apollo program.
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By Amazon Customer on December 26, 2012
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A contemporary reporting job on a little know side show of the space age. There is some intrigue, a little criminality, and the story of a really determined person trying to track down the moon-rock gifts that went astray over the years.
Out of work dictators
Ambassador's sons
Museum curators son's.
etc....
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is exactly why Kindle Singles were created. I read a little article in AP news , then a few months later saw this single.So, of course, I just had to buy the single and read the whole deal! The story of the missing moon rocks is ongoing and we should expect an updated single in a few years hence....
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On one level this is a story about a physical item: a mysterious sliver of rock purchased from a dying colonel in the Honduran mountains. It may or may not have been taken from the moon during Apollo 17, given as a good-will gift to the people of the Central American nation, and then purloined by their tinpot dictator. But the heart of this story is one man's obsession with the high water mark of the Space Age, when Americans rode "a 300-foot-tall rocket 240,000 miles to the moon using computers less powerful than a talking greeting card," as Kloc memorably puts it. That man is Joseph Gutheinz, the NASA Office of Inspector General special agent who tracked down space rock hucksters and hustlers during his long career with the agency. Gutheinz's unfailing conviction in American benevolence, and his relentless pursuit of the black market merchants who don't share that vision, could take center stage in a Werner Herzog documentary. Solid longform gold.
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What a great way to spend 99 cents. Not a long novel, but I got a lot of enjoyment out of this little book. I thought it was money well-spent. Its a very quick read, but very interesting. Even the end notes kept me captivated...very short, but worth a dollar.
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If you have read the Playboy article about the missing moon rocks like I have then this is a wonderful little read. Once you get into it it's almost impossible to finish. It's really well written and a fun read.
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