The Case of the Missing Moon Rocks is a non-fiction book by Joe Kloc, a former contributing editor for Seed Magazine. It describes the efforts of both Joseph Gutheinz, a NASA Office of Inspector General Senior Special Agent turned college professor and his students to locate and find up to 79 missing Apollo 11 and 17moon rocks and plaques that the United States government gave away to 135 nations of the world, all 50 states and its territories.
It begins by telling the story of Operation Lunar Eclipse, the first successful sting operation to recover a piece of the moon brought back by Americanastronauts, a sting operation the professor led and went undercover in, while still an agent. The sting operation successfully recovered the Honduras Apollo 17 Goodwill Moon Rock that was in the possession of Florida businessman Alan H. Rosen. This operation was funded in part with the financial assistance of H. Ross Perot, billionaire and former Presidential candidate.
On October 1, 2012, Gutheinz gave a major speech on Operation Lunar Eclipse and the Moon Rock Project before the Engineering Colloquium at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The speech was entitled "Finding the Missing Moon Rocks", and is preserved on a video at the Space Flight Center Library.In that speech Joe Gutheinz was critical of NASA and the U.S. Government for not turning over the Cyprus Apollo 17 Goodwill Moon Rock to Cyprus, which was also a major topic in Joe Kloc’s novel. On May 16, 2013 news reports first broke that bowing from pressure from Cyprus the United States Government would give Cyprus its Apollo 17 Goodwill Moon Rock.