Texas and Oklahoma Locked in Battle Over Space Bibles
I know what you're thinking. I've finally lost my mind, right? An epic battle rages right underneath our noses between two gigantic land masses? They're battling over a space bible? Yes (kinda) and yes. More confused? According to ABC news, it gets crazier from there.
Here's how it breaks down:
The year is 1971, and NASA's Apollo 14 is doing it's "monumental spaceflight" thing. Astronaut Edgar Mitchell brought along a little extra luggage, in the form of ten microfilm Bibles. Each one of these complete, 1,245 page, official Bibles rode in Edgar's pouch soaking up cosmic rays in all of their King James glory. This in itself really isn't all that weird. The gals and guys at NASA have been sending up random things for decades. Car keys, legos, even Luke Skywalker's actual lightsaber.
So what's the issue? Shouldn't we be able to roll some microfilm machines out of mothballs and fire up some good old testament reading with a side of "Far out man," right about now?
No. Because the ownership of said glaxial proverbs is up for debate. Late NASA chaplain John M. Stout was a co-founder of a prayer league called the Apollo Prayer League. It was formed in the 60's to pray for the safety of the Apollo astronauts. The bibles on microfilm was his idea. And he is from Oklahoma. NASA is based in Houston, Texas and lawyers for the state also claim that Stout and his wife became wards of the state in their later years when they required medical attention. The Stout's son, Jonathan, lives in Texas as well, and that's the reason the state attorney general thinks Jonathan Stout should inherit the Bibles.
The whole crazy mess goes to court on May 3rd. Hopefully, it will bring an end to this 6-year legal battle. That's just the tip of the iceberg on this story. If you've time, check out all of the lurid details here.