A NASA Intern Paid $218 For Old Film Reels....Turns Out He Bought The Original Moon Landing Tapes And Now Sold Them For $1.8 Million

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CNN - While the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing Saturday, Sotheby’s auctioned off three original NASA videotapes of the event for a whopping $1.82 million. That’s more than 8,000 times what then-NASA intern Gary George paid for them in a government surplus auction in 1976, the auction house said in a news release. The videos have not been restored, enhanced or remastered, and are the “earliest, sharpest, and most accurate surviving video images of man’s first steps on the moon,” Sotheby’s said.

The tapes contain the images shown the world over: Neil Armstrong’s first step, Buzz Aldrin descending the ladder after him and bouncing over the moon’s surface, and the astronauts planting the American flag there, but the images are “sharper and more distinct” than those shown elsewhere, Sotheby’s said.

George was an engineering student at Lamar University when he interned at the NASA Johnson Space Center and occasionally went to government surplus auctions, Sotheby’s said. In June 1976, he paid $217.77 for a lot of about 1,150 reels of magnetic tape that had belonged to NASA.

George sold and donated some of the tapes, but he saved three of them after his father noticed they were labeled “APOLLO 11 EVA | July 20, 1969 REEL 1 [–3]” and “VR2000 525 Hi Band 15 ips.” He didn’t give them much thought until he found out in 2008 that NASA was trying to locate its original tapes for the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, Sotheby’s said.

The tapes have a combined run time of 2 hours and 24 minutes, and they show the entirety of the moon walk as seen by the Mission Control staff, from the first walk to the phone call with then-President Richard Nixon, the auction house said.


I love this story. Back in 1976 some intern showed up to a government auction and bought 1,150 reels of tape from NASA. He didn’t really know what was on them, he just thought they’d be cool to have. He bought them for $217.77 total, which probably wasn’t exactly chump change for an intern in 1976, but I assume he knew what he was doing, or he just really loves NASA tapes and wanted to have them in his collection. Either way, he sold some and donated some, but held on to 3 reels…and it just so happened he made the right call, because he stumbled upon the original moon landing tapes. Straight from mission control. And he held onto them all this time, and now struck while the iron was hot when everyone is hootin’ n hollerin’ about the 50 year anniversary. What a genius. He found out he had the tapes in 2008 when NASA was like “hey, what ever happened to the most important video we’ve ever taken?” and ol’ Gary George was like “lol, suckerssssss”.

Now, let me be woke on this for a second. You’re telling me the most important reels in the history of NASA, possibly in the history of the *WORLD*, randomly showed up in a box sold at auction, bought by a NASA intern? It all sounds a bit suspicious. This had to have been an inside job. Maybe Gary George knew the person who was going through the old tapes and they agreed to put those tapes in the box, surrounded by 1,147 other reels. Oh what a random find in this huge box of reels, nobody will suspect foul play. And then they sat on them for 40 freakin’ years. The long con of all long cons.

Shit, maybe it goes all the way to the top at NASA. *Puts on tin foil hat* They are always looking for ways to convince people the moon landing was real…this is just another piece of pro-moon landing propaganda they can leak out there to put it into people’s heads that it actually happened. They probably devised a 100 year plan to keep the propaganda machine going, and by then we’ll have “gone to Mars” so nobody will care about the moon landing anymore. Stay woke, my friends.