Apollo 15 Flown to the Lunar Surface Cover

One of the infamous flown covers first confiscated and later released by NASA

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This Cover, numbered 006 is one of 100 covers that were flown to the Lunar Surface on Apollo 15, that were requested to be flown to the Moon by H. Walter Eiermann who was acting on behalf of German Stamp dealer, Hermann Sieger. The crew agreed in return for a trust fund of $7000 being set up for each Astronaut in a Swiss Bank Account. The crew also wanted to carry a further 300 covers for themselves, but 2 were destroyed before the flight, making the total number of covers flown 398.

As one of Sigers's original 100 covers, this cover is far more valuable and harder to find than one of the crew's 300 covers.

About the Covers

The covers were not listed in the Crews preference kits, but instead carried in the pocket of Dave Scott's space suit. Once back from the moon and while on the USS Okinawa the crew added the twin 8c stamps and had the covers cancelled and date stamped at the on-board ship's post office, they then signed the covers on the flight from Hawaii back to Houston.

Of the total 398 covers, 100 were sent to Hermann Sieger and the remaining 298 were kept by the Apollo 15 Crew. It had been agreed that no covers be sold until after the completion of the Apollo program, but Sieger started selling his 100 covers almost immediately at $1,500 each.

When the crew heard about the sale, they tried to retrieve the covers from Sieger, but were unsuccessful and so tried to save their reputations by returning the $7,000. However a Congressional investigation wanted to make an example of the Astronauts and so NASA had no choice but to suspend them from flight status. NASA also confiscated the 298 covers.

In 1983 Al Worden successfully had the 298 covers returned to the crew after suing the United States federal government when similar covers were to be flown on the Space Shuttle. It is thought that had the crew declared the covers in the first place then there would have been no problem.

This cover is one of the 100 that were delivered to Sieger and subsequently started the whole stamp scandal when he started to sell them before the agreed time with the Apollo 15 crew. It comes with a certified letter of provenance (in German) from Walter Michael Hopferwieser. The front side has been signed by the Apollo 15 Crew, with the hand written inscription in the top left corner by Jim Irwin, "LANDED AT HADLEY MOON JULY 30 1971" and signed once more by Dave Scott and Jim Irwin. Plus the rear side has been certifed by Notary Public, Mrs C.B. Carsey with the following text: "This is to certify that this cover was onboard the Falcon at the Hadley-Apennine, Moon, July 30-August 2, 1971

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Rear side certified by Notary Public, Mrs C.B. Carsey

Certified Letter

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