ORLANDO, Fla. — The newest “oddities” on display at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! are reels of the Apollo 11 moonwalk.
What You Need To Know
- Ripley's adds new gallery called "Out of this World"
- The new exhibt features videotapes containing footage of the first moonwalk
- In 2019, the tapes were purchased by Ripley's at auction for $1.82 million
The tapes showing NASA’s first moonwalk are part of a new gallery at the International Drive attraction called “Out of This World.”
The more than two hours of footage features Neil Armstrong’s famous “one giant leap for mankind” moment, a lunar gravity demonstration by Buzz Aldrin, and the moment Armstrong and Aldrin planted an American flag on the moon. According to Ripley's, the tapes are considered the last surviving first-generation recordings of the historic event.
But what’s odd about these tapes is how they ended up at Ripley’s.
In 2019, a former NASA intern named Gary George put some tapes containing footage of the Apollo 11 moonwalk up for auction, which is where Ripley's purchased them for $1.82 million. George had purchased the tapes at a government surplus auction in 1976 for $217.77.
“These tapes are a pivotal part of history," Ripley’s exhibits director John Corcoran said in a statement. "We are proud to be the stewards of such an iconic artifact and are excited to be able to tell their unbelievable story.”
In addition to the tapes, Ripley’s “Out of this World” gallery also features other space-themed exhibits, including a 600-pound meteorite that visitors can touch and a piece of Mars. Visitors can also learn how astronauts work in space through a hands-on glove demonstration. The gallery also includes a 16-foot interactive video wall that can also show live launches.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando is 10,000 square feet of exhibits featuring rare artifacts, pop culture memorabilia and interactive experiences.