Museum's "moon rock" is just a rock

A prized moon rock belonging to the Dutch national museum has turned out to be, er, petrified wood. The rock's provenance goes back to 1969, when William Drees, the late prime minister of the Netherlands, received it as a gift from former US ambassador J. William Middendorf. The precious stone worthless rock was presented to the prime minister during a visit by the Apollo 11 astronauts shortly after the first moon landing. From the Associated Press:
Middendorf, who lives in Rhode Island, told Dutch NOS news that he had gotten it from the U.S. State Department, but couldn't recall the exact details.

The U.S. Embassy in the Hague said it was investigating the matter.

The museum had vetted the moon rock early on by checking with NASA, (Rijksmuseum spokeswoman Xandra) van Gelder said.

She said the space agency told the museum then that it was possible the country had received a rock: NASA gave moon rocks to more than 100 countries in the early 1970s, but those were from later missions.

Researchers from Amsterdam's Free University said they could see at a glance the rock was not from the moon.

"It's a nondescript, pretty-much-worthless stone," Geologist Frank Beunk said in an article published by the museum.
"Prized 'moon rock' in Dutch national museum is a fake"


  1. This is a great discovery! With any luck, this rock can be cross-referenced to geographic survey data to pinpoint the location of the sound-stage where the original lunar landing took place.

  2. In my view, this only adds to the objects provenance. Now we can put a sign next to the stone saying: Moon rock given by US ambassador to dutch government which turned out to be totally fake!

    I like it a lot!

    O, and btw, Van Gogh?! Never really existed. We so totally made that guy up.

  3. I can see this as potential fuel for those dumb conspiracy theories you hear about the moon landing being faked.

  4. It’s not a Moon rock that turned out to simply be petrified wood…it’s a Moon rock that turned out to be petrified wood from the fucking Moon! HOLY SHIT!

    BIG difference.

  5. “The museum had vetted the moon rock early on by checking with NASA”

    Why do I imagine a guy from NASA on the phone saying, “Sure it’s real!” while making jerk-off gestures to his co-worker?

  6. “It’s a nondescript, pretty-much-worthless stone,”

    Gee, that goes equally well for the other moon rocks.

    Really ought to have spent the money feeding people outside the military-industrial complex.

  7. “We’re whittlers on the moon;
    We spit in a spittoon;
    Or at least we could,
    but there ain’t no wood,
    So we sing a whittlin’ tune”

  8. The sub headline is going to give NASA headaches. Our own research and chemical analysis of lunar samples shows that we did land on the Moon because our samples match the Apollo sample chemical composition with a good figure of merit. Although NASA like other agencies does censor and scientists are willing to go the extra mile and commit scientific misconduct and fraud for their respective employer it not always the case as in the one below.

  9. I’m sure no one believed that a false rock, delivered in 1969, would fuel these hoax idiots claims today. It was awefully stupid on somebody’s part…weather it was with Middendorfs’ knowledge or not…who knows?

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