The Man Who Had Sex on the Moon: a Very True Story
Interns make mistakes sometimes. But with that said, some things are worse than others, and this story may very well be one of the craziest intern stories of all time.
Meet Thad Roberts. Thad was an aspiring astronaut and a promising young man. At the age of 25, Thad was pursuing a triple major in Physics, Geology, and Anthropology at the University of Utah, and had gained admission to NASA’s prestigious co-op program for aspiring astronauts.
However, Thad had his weaknesses. First, he was a little rebellious. At one point during the summer, he snuck into the Space Shuttle Simulator to see what it was like.
But Thad’s bigger weakness was love.
You see, there was another intern this summer at NASA named Tiffany Fowler. Thad was a married man with a wife back home in Utah, but that didn’t stop Thad from falling hard for Tiffany this summer. And Thad wanted to prove his love for Tiffany - to show her that he would do anything for her.
By the way, he had only known her for a few weeks at the time.
Thad had noticed that NASA has a lot of moon rocks - a total of 842 pounds from the Apollo missions. And while most of the moon rocks are kept in special storage to prevent them from being contaminated by Earth's atmosphere, a few of them were kept in other places. Some of these rocks were kept in a NASA safe. And because these rocks are so rare, they are also quite valuable. Most moon rocks can go for anywhere between $1,000-5,000 USD per gram on the private market.
Thad told Tiffany about these rocks, and mentioned how they could probably steal them.
Intrigued, Tiffany begged Thad that they should go forward with the plan. How exciting and fun would it be? Not to mention, how rich could they become? Thad’s reckless nature and desire to please Tiffany made him inclined to agree, and they started to hatch their plan.
They spent weeks figuring out how to avoid the various aspects of security. For instance, they even purchased a special set of neoprene bodysuits to avoid setting off a thermal alarm that detects potentially threatening climate changes in the safe room.
During this timeframe, Thad and Tiffany also found a third partner in crime: Shae Sauer.
The day of the heist comes, and the trio have a few issues they have to deal with. Amazingly, the squad had a pretty goon plan for all potential issues.
First, they timed their arrival by studying the building (Building 31) for weeks. They knew when co-workers typically came and left late at night, and arrived when no one was in the building.
Next, they figured out how to rewire the security cameras of the building. As a result, Thad and Tiffany could enter the building while Shae monitored the cameras from the car.
Third, they got access to the building by having a former co-worker email them the code.
At this point, Thad and Tiffany don their neoprene suits as well as their breathing apparatus. The vault with the rocks has no oxygen in an effort to protect the moon rocks, so Thad and Tiffany had 15 minutes of oxygen supply while they were in the room.
Then, they somehow figured out how to crack the lock into the room itself. Thad says they used a series of chemicals and a blacklight to figure out how to unlock the lock, but it is unclear to what extent this is true.
Finally, they arrived at the rocks themselves, which were locked in a safe. Thad and Tiffany couldn’t figure out how to crack this safe, though, and were running out of oxygen. And so, they decided to just wheel the entire safe out instead. (By the way, this safe was 600 pounds)
They wheeled the safe back to the car where Shae was waiting for them, and drove off.
They had stolen a set of rocks valued at 21 million dollars.
What was the first thing that Thad and Tiffany did with the rocks once they unlocked the safe at home?
They had sex on the rocks.
That’s right - Thad and Tiffany spread the rocks across their bed, and had sex on them. We told you love was Thad’s weakness and motivator. He wanted to show Tiffany he would steal the moon for her love. That’s exactly what he did, and exactly what he got in return.
Here’s how he describes it during a Q&A:
“I take some of the moon rocks, and I put ’em underneath the blanket in the bed,” recalled Roberts. "I never said anything, but I’m sure she could feel it. She never said anything directly, either, but it was more about the symbol of what we were doing - you know, basically having sex on the moon... It’s more uncomfortable than not, but it wasn’t about the comfort at that point. It was about the expression.”
NASA didn’t realize the safe was stolen for two days. Even more amazingly, absolutely no evidence was left - no fingerprints, no security footage, no hair, nothing. Thad and Tiffany had pulled off the perfect heist.
But NASA contacted the FBI for help, and the FBI started trying to track down these moon rocks.
Luckily for the FBI, Thad had to regress to being a moron at some point - he put some of the rocks up for sell on the website of the Mineralogy Club of Antwerp, Belgium. A Belgian collector noticed something seemed amiss, and contacted the FBI.
The FBI worked with the Belgian to try to trap the sellers. They told “Orb Robinson” (Thad’s pseudoname that was selling the rocks) that they wanted to buy the rocks, and agreed to meet in Orlando. "Orb" was successfully fooled, went to the meeting, and got arrested alongside his accomplices by 40 FBI agents and a helicopter.
The FBI soon found the moon rocks hidden in a nearby hotel room that the trio was renting.
Thad ended up getting sentenced to 100 months in prison. The girls were both given a probation. Ironically, included in Thad’s time was a sentence for a somewhat unrelated crime of stealing dinosaur fossils from a digsite in Utah.
Thad is one interesting man though, and has had quite the life since then. During his time in jail, Thad spent extensive time studying, researching, and teaching Quantum Space Theory. Thad has also, in the time since he was released, worked with a writer to publish a somewhat self-glamorizing chronicle of the entire moonrock saga titled Sex on the Moon.
And Tiffany? The girl who this was all for? Well, Thad has never seen her since.
Source: This story was originally published on Five Guys Facts. We are republishing a lightly edited version to SkyFeed in light of interest on the subject. Treybig, Davis. "The Worst Intern of All Time." Five Guys Facts. 18 July 2017. Web article.
Citation: Rovira, Lia N. "The Man Who Had Sex on the Moon: a Very True Story." SkyFeed. 6 May 2019. Web article.