Ex-NASA agent fears gold lunar module will be melted down

Lunar Module replica (Courtesy: FBI)

CLEVELAND  — A retired NASA federal agent who has helped find stolen and missing moon rocks says he thinks whoever stole a solid-gold replica of the Apollo 11 lunar module from an Ohio museum will likely melt it down for its gold value.

Joseph Gutheinz Jr. tells The Associated Press on Sunday that someone looking to sell stolen collectibles from the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta would have been drawn to items more easily smuggled out of the country, such as a large moon rock on display brought back from the historic Apollo 11 mission in July 1969.

The 5-inch (12.7-centimeter) high replicas made by Cartier were presented to astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins shortly after their mission.

Police discovered the theft late Friday and are asking anyone with any information at all to  please contact the Wapakoneta Police Department at (419)738-8802.