Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

7th Annual Space Auction includes MacBean Scottish connection

While reviewing the list of items on offer in the 7th Bonhams Space History Sale (and coming to the conclusion that I would not be bidding – even a washer that made it into space was not going to meet my budget, at an estimated £470-610), I was intrigued to see that Scottish heritage was being claimed by one of the astronauts, with an artefact from the Apollo 11 mission:

CLAN MACBEAN ARRIVES ON THE MOON
TARTAN CLOTH FLOWN ON INTREPID TO THE LUNAR SURFACE
FLOWN Cloth, woolen MacBean tartan, 8 x 5 inches. With an Autograph Letter Signed by ALAN BEAN on his personal illustrated letterhead.

INSCRIBED and SIGNED “ALAN L. BEAN / Flown to the Moon / Nov ’69“.

ALAN BEAN’s handwritten provenance letter reads: “I hereby certify that the accompanying MacBean tartan cloth travelled with me to the moon in our command module, Yankee Clipper. I then transferred the tartan to our lunar module Intrepid for descent to the lunar surface. The tartan remained in the lunar module during our 33 hour stay on the Ocean of Storms and was then returned to Earth.

The Macbeans are a 700 year old clan. According to family lore, one of Alan Bean’s ancestors, John MacBean, was exiled to New England in 1652 following his support for the Scottish King Charles II against Cromwell.

My apologies in advance for any spelling errors in the clan name, but I have, as always, quoted the source material as given, and it includes two variants, so I cannot tell which one is the intended correct version in this instance.

I would assume MacBean, but cannot be sure.

Clan MacBean Tartan

Credit: Bonhams – Clan MacBean Tartan

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April 15, 2015 - Posted by | Aviation | , , , , ,

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