NASA Sting: Riverside Woman Tries to Sell 'Moon Rock' to Feds for $1.7M

Comments (0)


Fri, May 20, 2011 at 12:45 PM

click to enlarge LOS ANGELES TIMES
  • Los Angeles Times
What dork in his right mind would offer $1.7 million for a big drab hunk of moon, you ask? Turns out the feds will -- but a Riverside woman found out the hard way, via cutty deal at a desolate Lake Elsinore diner, that they're not so much good for their money.

The undercover NASA brainiacs traded their rocket wear for a sketch disguise as Joe-blow millionaires, the finale of a months-long investigation. (Moon rocks are apparently "national treasures.") The Riverside County Sheriff's Department describes the Thursday-morning dogpile of deputies and cops and, uh, astronauts:

After conversation, the moon rock was produced inside the restaurant. Several Lake Elsinore Police investigators and NASA agents moved in on the suspect, took possession of the moon rock and detained the female.

The department alleges that "moon rocks and other space travel artifacts ... are not to be sold on any market." Does that exclude the Interwebs? Because we've been scoping multiple online moon-rock retailers (it's actually one of our hobbies), and these "artifacts" appear to be very much up for sale.

The pitch: "Have you got your piece of the Moon yet?"

Why no, we haven't! Here's what Lunar Meteorite Store has to offer:

click to enlarge LUNAR METEORITE STORE
  • Lunar Meteorite Store
Find: October 2006!!!

Classification: Achondrite (Lunar); extensive shock!!! a RARE unbrecciated Basalt!!!

TKW: 1.37 Kilos!!!

Location: Rissani, Morocco!!!

Specimen weight: 9.46 grams!!!

Specimen Type: Wire cut World Class Slice!!!

FREE Membrane case!!!

Thanks, but no thanks: We prefer our moon rocks bulbous and scraggly, like that beaut from the NASA sting.

Well, if it was even a moon rock at all; NASA officials say the investigation is still ongoing. Maybe they should turn a magnifying glass to the Interwebs in the meantime?


Related Content

Now Trending

  • Foster the People's Downtown L.A. Mural Is Coming Down

    The controversial Foster the People mural downtown is coming down, the office of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today. Despite claims by the pop band that it had necessary permits and that the artwork was legitimately produced, the mayor's office states what we reported previously: The piece is on a...
  • Sexual Predator Is Targeting Females in Eastside Park

    A sexual predator is on the loose in an Eastside park, police warned today. Cops say the creep has targeted "lone females" walking in Ernest E. Debs Regional Park three times between January and July. He has groped, exposed himself and even attacked with a knife, the Los Angeles Police...
  • U.S. Reps Call For Federal Intervention in Dodger TV Blackout

    A group of local U.S. representatives wants the Federal Communications Commission to help end Time Warner Cable's blackout of Dodger games for competing cable and satellite providers. Negotiations to bring the team's games to AT&T U-verse, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Dish Network, Mediacom, Suddenlink Communications and Verizon FIOS have gotten...
Los Angeles Concert Tickets


  • Street League Skateboarding Super Crown World Championship
    On Sunday, Street League Skateboarding touched down in the Galen Center at USC as part of a four-stop tour for SLS's Super Crown World Championship. The L.A. stop determined the roster for Super Crown, airing August 24th on FOX Sports 1. The final eight are Nyjah Huston, Luan Oliveira, Torey Pudwill, Shane O'Neill, Paul Rodriguez, Chaz Ortiz, Matt Berger and Ishod Wair. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
  • Comic-Con's "Celebrity" Autograph Area
    A sometimes overlooked (but still incredibly unique) aspect of San Diego Comic-Con are the celebs available to sign autographs, as well as the autograph seekers themselves. If you've ever wanted to meet the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld or the guy who played Michelangelo in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, chances are, as you wander the Autograph Area, you'll be able to connect with someone you didn't even realize you were waiting your whole life to meet! All photos by Rob Inderrieden.
  • Real Madrid Soccer Practice at UCLA
    Fans came out to greet world champion soccer team Real Madrid as they practice at UCLA. This is the first time that soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has practiced with the team this year. All photos by Jeff Cowan.