|Arrival of the Lunar Sample at the University of Miami|
|Shortly after 4:30 PM on 30 September 1969, while I was sitting on the steps of 519 Anastasia Avenue (one of the buildings used by The Institute of Molecular Evolution of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL), Dr. Klaus Dose drove up in Dr. Sidney W. Fox's car. He was followed by Bob McCauley, chauffeuring Dr. Fox (Director of the Institute). There was no police escort, crowding reporters and photographers, or curiosity seekers. Dr. Fox had chosen to return to Miami on a flight earlier than his scheduled flight for security reasons. Dr. Fox and Bob casually got out of the car, Bob with his camera. Dr. Fox posed on the walk for several pictures before going to 511 Anastasia with the sample.|
Dr. Kaoru Harada and Dr. Fox entered the Dust-Free Rooms wearing special slippers and bonnets. Dr. Fox removed his jacket. The container of lunar material was in his inside pocket, which had been sewn shut. By now, others of the Institute had begun arriving to see the sample.
Dr. Fox asked that someone notify his wife of his arrival. He then cut the threads closing the pocket and removed an aluminum tube containing the lunar sample. The tube resembled the container of a roll of 35 mm film, but about 5 inches long.
|A portion of the sample was placed in a small Erlenmeyer flask. The sample appeared very dark, almost like a rich, black soil. Dr. Fox asked for a flashlight. I brought mine from the car and gave it to him. He turned out the room lights and shined the flashlight on the sample, which now appeared quite bright.|
Dr. George Mueller arrived and entered the room. A magnifying glass was obtained and the three examined the sample. Mrs. Ria Fox arrived. She seemed to think that Dr. Fox's bonnet was quite cute.
By this time most of the Institute personnel and three UM maintenance men had seen the sample. It was after 5 PM and people started heading for home.
"Guarding" the Lunar Sample
For some reason,
there was concern that some unknown person or persons might try to get to
the lunar sample while the Institute was closed at night. So several of the
graduate students were hired to spend the night in the building until folks
were satisfied that nothing was going to happen.
Page updated: 22 January 2012