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My mother told me that on a summer night between 1956 and 1960, she and many others witnessed a full Moon with what appeared to be a crack or stair steps in it. She recalls that it caused mass hysteria. Is there somewhere I could find information on this occurrence?

Question: My mother told me that on a summer night between 1956 and 1960, she and many others witnessed a full Moon with what appeared to be a crack or stair steps in it. She recalls that it caused mass hysteria. Is there somewhere I could find information on this occurrence?

Answer: Outside of your mother's story, there is no report of such a sighting in the general literature. Our guess is that the "crack" was due to some atmospheric phenomenon, either the contrail of an airplane or some unusual clouds crossing the Moon. A local newspaper may have reported the event, but to find that article, the exact location and a much closer determination of time than "between 1956 and 1960" would be necessary.