Florida man bought wooden plaque at garage sale to use for gun repair, turned out to contain Louisiana's long lost moon rock

After the Apollo moon landings, the White House gifted tiny samples of moon rocks to the 50 states and many countries. They were encased in acrylic and mounted on a wooden plaque. Weirdly, some of these space souvenirs were lost over the years but fortunately nearly all were eventually tracked down. Most recently, Louisiana's misplaced moon rock from the Apollo 17 mission of 1972 turned up in a most unusual place: a Florida man had bought it at a garage sale intending to turn the nice wood plaque into gun stocks. From CollectSpace:

The buyer, who requested to remain anonymous but resides in Merritt Island, near Cape Canaveral, said that he had likely purchased the plaque at a garage sale sometime over the past 15 years.

"I can't even tell you how long I owned it for," the man told collectSPACE after reaching out for information through a common contact. "I'm not even sure how much I paid for it. I buy plaques because I take the wood from the plaques and I send it over to my gunstock guy and he makes grips for my Colts and so forth."[…]

"I started reading it and thought, 'Hmm, that's a little strange.'" said the man who had bought the plaque at a garage sale. "So I went to the internet and found out, 'Oh! They are looking for this puppy.'"[…]

After realizing what he had, the Florida man who had bought the goodwill moon rock reached out to the Louisiana's governor office. From there, he was directed to Louisiana State Museum.

"They wanted me to mail it out to them," the man recalled. "I said, 'I'm not mailing this thing out to you. I will hand deliver it,' and with that said, that is what I did."

images: CollectSpace