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  370162057984: Armstrong letter

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Author Topic:   370162057984: Armstrong letter

Posts: 3688
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 02-23-2009 05:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A fellow CSer alerted me to this eBay item recently. The item is curious, because (in my opinion) it appears to be a forgery of a two-page letter supposedly written by Armstrong. While the signature isn't executed all that badly, there appears to be enough clues that this is a forgery (some of which I do not wish to discuss here, so as to not educate the apparent forger on his mistakes).

In my opinion, what we have here is someone's attempt to forge not only a signature, but also Neil's personal letterhead and a letter with significant space-related content. In fact, the content of the letter is one of those "too good to be true" items. How often is Neil so forthcoming about his feelings regarding his missions, especially in letters to complete strangers? To my eyes, the letter lacks the more formal tone of a genuine Armstrong letter.

If anything, I think this item illustrates that forgeries can extend beyond signed lithos and covers. Someone with a little extra time on their hands can create a much more elaborate item to fool the bidders. Buyers must continue to be wary, no matter the media upon which the signature is placed.


Posts: 1579
From: Fairfax, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 02-23-2009 06:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I noticed that letter yesterday and wondered about it myself. Thank you for your opinion. The signature looked about as big across as a Five Guys cheeseburger, but it was the content, with a few minor typographical errors, that worried me even more.

Rick Mulheirn

Posts: 2975
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 02-23-2009 06:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a letter from Vivian White, Armstrong's administrative aide, on his headed paper. It is dated just 2 years before the ebay listing and the two a very different.

Different in typeface, lay-out and with a number of detail omissions.

The ebay listing looks like a pretty crude forgery in my opinion.


Posts: 3292
From: London, UK
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 02-24-2009 03:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Definitely a forgery, but not so sure about "crude". It's takes a determined effort to mock up Armstrong personal letterhead, type the letter and then have a reasonable bash at a fake signature. This is the first semi-convincing forged letter I've seen.
I'm also wondering whether a more serious offense has been committed under US law, by creating a document with forged personal details on it.

All times are CT (US)

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