The following was reported on the collectSpace website during February 2019. Note that colour differences are due to different scanners being used.

The doubtful cover

A genuine cover

Apollo 10 PRS Cover Now Believed to Be a Beck Counterfeit 

Last week we posted a Beck Apollo 10 Prime Recovery Ship (PRS) cover B787 on our Beck cover site.  The cover was very interesting because it was missing the green screened background color and the “B787” was printed under the cachet on the Bottom LEFT instead of the RIGHT.

The cover had the printed address of Hans J. Rautschke in Berlin. The scan we posted came from a regular contributor to the Beck site in Europe. 

We had correspondence with a collector that suggested that the scan of the B787 Apollo 10 cover we showed was a forgery made by Rautschke.  Evidently, Rautschke has been identified as a dealer and counterfeiter of covers.

We have carefully reviewed 65 different actual Apollo 10 covers that we have access to and can now state with a very high degree of certainty that the cover in question is in fact a FAKE.

You should examine Beck Apollo 10 covers in your collection to determine if you have any other fake covers.

The first thing to look for is the address on the cover. If it is Hans J. Rautschke in Berlin, it might be suspect.

Just because a cover is missing the screened background, doesn’t mean it is fake so don’t be concerned with that.

If the B number is not in the correct location, look further.

EVERY one of the actual 65 Apollo 10 covers we looked at had the same layout of the type “APOLLO 10” and the words “LUNAR MODULE” below it.  The “L” of Lunar lined up exactly the same in the authentic covers, but is slightly shifted in the fake.

Then compare the very slight slant of the type “APOLLO 10” as compared to the fake.


Reply From Tom Steiner

Interesting description of the suspect USS Princeton Beck cover. However, I think it may be a true error - here's why .....
I also have a similar cover but it is addressed to space cover collector William E. Greeley. I was able to see/acquire a number of Beck covers that were addressed to him at a stamp show and saw a number of other space covers (e.g. NASA cachets) that he had sent for that were addressed to him with the same RS address. Some had overcancels/back stamps so I know they were sent back to him through the regular mail. 
Beck seems to have printed all of a collector’s envelopes at the same time (or a group of collectors). Example from Owen’s site – Sam Hinerfeld GT-3 missing yellow color for four ships/B-numbers and the Luther Porter GT-8 covers missing background for five ships/B-numbers, only changing the B-numbers between printing the next ship covers for that collector without fixing the missing background. I mention this because the suspect cover has a missing background color. It turns out that there were FIVE missing background covers for Pacific B-numbers for Apollo 10 that were addressed to Greeley – USS Princeton (with B787 on left, shifted “L”), USS Chipola B788, USS Chipola B789, USS Arlington B790, USS Carpenter B796 – the Greeley Atlantic covers were normal Apollo 10 cachets. The other Greeley covers – from Apollo 9 through Skylab 4 – were also normal mission cachets. All of the Greeley covers including the USS Princeton cover have a "B" written in pencil on a back corner of each envelope.
Since Greeley obviously was sending covers to Beck and for NASA cachets it would seem odd for him to have ONE fake cover that he would (1) add his RS address to the front of the cover  AND (2) he would add the "B" in pencil to the back of the cover AND (3) by chance the fake cover would match the missing color cachets he received from Beck.
That being said ..... I have no idea on the shifting of LUNAR MODULE OVER MOON to the right only seen on these covers ......


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Last modified on 18 February 2019