"I looked and thought,'Wow, where's my space shuttle?"
For 20 years Bielecki has owned the North End scrap yard, and during that time he’s created a hidden museum of strange and historic rubbish, including three caskets, brass beds, funeral home candleholders, parking meters, runner sleds, spittoons and a moonshine still from an old house in Ashley.
When a large aluminum mock spaceship came through his scrap yard three years ago, Bielecki said he had found something special. He doesn’t know who it belonged to or why someone decided to get rid of it, but he knew he had to make it a part of his ever-growing collection of unwanted things. He and his staff cleaned the spaceship with mops and emblazoned the craft with big black decals that read "#1 USA." Bielecki wired the scrapped craft to several heavy pallets and placed it on the roof just above where an American flag still hangs. Now he's sad to see it gone.
About two months ago, in the early-morning hours, Bielecki was roused from his sleep by a call from Wilkes-Barre police. "They said, 'Bielecki, your space shuttle’s out on Penn Avenue," he said. Officers rolled the round seven-foot-tall piece of metal onto the sidewalk. Busy days continued to push back the relaunch to the roof. It sat out of public view behind the building for about two months, until Monday when Bielecki noticed it was gone.
This will rank right up there with the missing Big Boy that was eventually found in a college student's apartment. I'm sure the police have other things to keep them busy rather than looking for a tall piece of junk. Maybe Bill Fitz can ask around campus and solve this mystery.
Update: The Enterprise was located in Mineral Springs and has been returned to the top of the heap at Bielecki's junkyard. "I don’t know if he flew it there, or what, and crash landed," a jovial Bielecki said. The police say they have a suspect but if you read the comments we already have a confession.