Netherlands: Fake Moon Rock

AMSTERDAM (AP) - The Dutch national museum says one of its prized possessions, a rock supposedly brought back from the moon by U.S. astronauts, is just a piece of petrified wood.

The museum acquired the rock after the death of a former prime minister, who received it in 1969 from the then-U.S. ambassador during a visit by the Apollo 11 astronauts.

An expert saw it on display in 2006 and told the museum it was unlikely NASA would have given away any moon rocks three months after Apollo returned to earth.

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

A museum spokeswoman said Thursday the geologists identified it as petrified wood worth no more than euro50 ($70).

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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