Black Market for Moon Rocks

Motherboard hat ein superinteressantes Interview mit Joe Kloc, der lange an einem (Bezahl-)Artikel über den Schwarzmarkt für Mondgestein recherchiert hat. Die meisten Steine vom Mond auf dem Schwarzmarkt stammen von Probe 70017, die von Nixon damals aufgeteilt und an 135 Präsidenten anderer Staaten und an die Gouvernöre der USA-Staaten geschickt wurden.

What happened to “lunar sample 70017” after President Nixon delivered bits of it to countries around the world as a gesture of world peace?

After Nixon sent out the samples of the rock, many of them were lost, either because of instability in those countries at the time or because the rocks were put into storage, or because the building a rock was housed in was destroyed. The whereabouts of many of them haven’t been known since the 70s. And in recent years, a sort of black market of debatable size and value has developed around them.

How much do these rocks sell for?

No one seems to agree on this question but black market sellers have valued them at up to $5 million and even $15 million each.

What drew you to the story of the missing moon rocks?

Well, they seem to attract small-time crime. In every case, the people selling the rocks on the “black” market just sort of stumbled upon them. I like the comedy that ensues when average Joes fall into the world of almost-crime to sell these Cold War artifacts that may or may not be worth $5 million.

The Dark Side of the Moon Rock Black Market: An Interview with Joe Kloc