Huffpost Denver

$5 Million Moon Rocks Given To Colorado Seem To Have Vanished

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DENVER — A missing moon rock awarded to Colorado in 1974 has turned up in an ex-governor's house.

The lunar souvenir was given to former Gov. John Vanderhoof by the Nixon administration, which awarded bits of moon rubble to all 50 states and more than 130 foreign countries.

Vanderhoof is now 88 and living in Grand Junction. He has kept the rock on a plaque in his house and didn't think much of it until college students started looking for the moon rocks. On Tuesday a Denver television station called to ask if he had Colorado's.

Vanderhoof joked that he had offered the rock to museums, but no one was interested. Its estimated value is $5 million.

Another set of moon rocks awarded to Colorado was found in storage at the state history museum about a decade ago.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

DENVER (AP) – Colorado, we have a problem. The moon rocks are missing.

The rocks, given to the state, in 1974 are valued at $5 million on the black market and few even realized they existed until a college student began searching for them as part of an assignment.

Another set of moon rocks collected in 1969 was found in storage at the state history museum about a decade ago. They are now on display on the third floor of the state Capitol.

Neither the history museum nor the Denver Museum of Nature & Science has the second set of rocks and the governor's office doesn't know where they are.


Information from: The Denver Post,