This turned very quickly from an endearingly wacky crime story to a sad one. Five months ago, NASA agents and sheriffs descended on a Denny's in Riverside County in Southern California. They busted 74-year-old Joann Davis, for trying to sell a $1.7 million moon rock to an undercover NASA agent. ("Rock" is actually rather a strong term: It was a "speck of lunar dust smaller than a grain of rice" embedded in a paperweight, according to the AP.)
Davis said she was trying to sell the rock to raise money for her sick son, and that her late husband, a NASA contractor, had been given the rock by Neil Armstrong in the 70s. Armstrong denies he ever gave any moon rocks to anyone.
When authorities busted her at Denny's, they dragged her out of the booth so hard she claims she got a bruise on her arm and lost control of her bladder. Who knew NASA investigators were so hard-boiled? Is there some underground network of hardcore Eastern European space fanatics trafficking in moon rocks—trading bits of heat shield from Apollo rockets in exchange for taking out one of their rivals?
[Image of moon rock via AP]