An international probe should be launched into various murky details surrounding the U.S. moon landings between 1969 and 1972, Russia's Investigative Committee spokesman said Tuesday.
Vladimir Markin penned a column for the Izvestia newspaper arguing that U.S. authorities had crossed a line by launching a large-scale corruption probe targeting nine FIFA officials. The scandal surrounding the case prompted the June 2 resignation of longtime FIFA president Sepp Blatter, and sparked a heated debate about Russia's role as host of the 2018 World Cup.
Venting his frustration with what he viewed as "U.S. prosecutors having declared themselves the supreme arbiters of international football affairs," Markin proposed that international investigators could likewise examine some of the murkier elements of America's past.
An international investigation could help solve the mystery of the disappearance of film footage from the original moon landing in 1969, or explain where the nearly 400 kilograms of lunar rock reportedly obtained during several such missions between 1969 and 1972 have been spirited away to, Markin suggested.
"We are not contending that they did not fly [to the moon], and simply made a film about it. But all of these scientific — or perhaps cultural — artifacts are part of the legacy of humanity, and their disappearance without a trace is our common loss. An investigation will reveal what happened," Markin wrote.
U.S. space agency NASA admitted in 2009 that the original recordings of the first moon landing had been erased, but said they had managed to remaster the original television broadcast of the landing, Reuters reported at the time.
Of the approximately 380 kilograms of moon rock said to have been obtained during manned U.S. moon landings, the bulk is stored in the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Texas, though samples can be seen on display in various museums around the world.