Tuesday, February 06, 2007

WOULD YOU ACT ANY DIFFERENTLY UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES?

No, that's not Nick Nolte to the left, that's USN Captain Lisa Nowak of Houston, an astronaut who actually flew on a Space Shuttle mission last July. And why is she appearing in embarrassing mug shots across the newspages of America's home computers?

Well, let's just say this picture may end up being the least embarrassing thing in her life the past few days. Seems that Capt. Nowak has been charged with attempted kidnapping, attempted vehicle burglary with battery, destruction of evidence, and battery in a caper involving love triangles, unrequited affections, deep space affairs, and Depends undergarments. Confused? Me too, but let's take a closer look, shall we?
* According to Capt. Nowak, she and fellow Space Shuttle astronaut, Navy Cmdr. William Oefelein, shared an involvement which was "more than a working relationship but less than a romantic relationship."
Uhhh, isn't that called "friends"? Not quite! I've studied Crazy Spurned LoverSpeak, so I can translate: Oefelein knew Nowak wanted his deep space bones, but rejected her advances, leaving her as little more than a space suit-wearing stalker in his life. Even though we've gotta assume these flyboys experience that sort of thing all the time, a triangle has three points, so there's more:
* Capt. Nowak believed Colleen Shipman was romantically involved with Cmdr. Oefelein, and when she heard that Shipman was flying from Houston to Orlando she sprung into action.
And what'd she do? Why the only thing she could:
* Nowak drove from Houston to Orlando -- wearing diapers so she wouldn't have to stop to urinate -- so she could confront Shipman.
I'm guessing that after driving 900 miles wearing diapers to confront a woman you've never met because you heard she was having an affair with the man you're obsessed with . . . well, there's little else to do to complete the spiral at that point. And Nowak did not disappoint:
* Sporting a wig and a trench coat, Nowak followed Shipman onto an airport bus to the parking lot.
After following Shipman to her car, the sordid tale finally took the direction we'd expect:
* Nowak first knocked on Shipman's window, tried to open the car door, and asked for a ride. Shipman refused, but rolled down the car window a few inches when Nowak started crying. Nowak responded by spraying a chemical into the car.
Nowak claims she merely wanted to talk to Shipman, to understand the nature of her relationship with the popular Oefelein. Now I'll admit I often open conversations with complete strangers by spraying chemicals into their eyes, but I'm a New Yorker and you know how rude we tend to be. I'm not sure that's how they do it in Orlando.

And, of course, the following items Novak was carrying ain't gonna help her case either:
* a wig, a BB gun, a steel mallet, a 4-inch folding knife, rubber tubing, $600, and garbage bags inside another bag.
And come to think of it, I don't think the prosecuting attorney is planning to suppress the rest of the evidence cops discovered in Nowak's car at a nearby motel:
* a pepper spray package, an unused BB-gun cartridge, latex gloves, an opened package for a buck knife, e-mails between Shipman and Oefelein, a letter "that indicated how much Mrs. Nowak loved Mr. Oefelein," Shipman's home address, and hand written directions to the address.
Ouch. NASA, baby! America's best & brightest.

And as if this whole tale wasn't bizarre & depressing enough, Novak is "married with three children." Anyone know a good therapist in the Houston area? Better schedule three different time slots for the next 10 years.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Applesaucer said...

Holy Mackeral!

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I think they found a mackerel in her bag too.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Thrillhous said...

Nice Nick Nolte reference there, Mike. She certainly did him proud.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How 'bout a pic of Shipman?

Anyone?

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

How 'bout a pic of Shipman?

It's only a matter of time. Patience, Grasshopper.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Dwilkers said...

I've been reading about this in the local paper today, as I took the wife's car in for service and have been sitting around in waiting rooms.

Its really amazing how close to the edge people can be, I think especially in that personality type (I am referring to military [or ex-] types, as I am one). The kind of person that can endure the type of crap I went through for 2 1/2 months to complete USMC boot camp 20 years ago can also be a bit of a loon.

Its hard to believe this woman was so obsessed that she got this crazy. I had a neighbor once, older guy, his doctor took him off an anti-depressant, I looked out the window a few days later and he was wandering around in the street in his underwear.

I'm just sayin', you never know.

And if it doesn't reassure to know our freakin multi-billion dollar spacecraft are being crewed by people that may have these tendencies it'll make you feel better to know she's been released on $15.5k bond.

Heh. Even worse? I live real close to her. I could almost hit the JSC with a well thrown rock from my backyard.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

The kind of person that can endure the type of crap I went through for 2 1/2 months to complete USMC boot camp 20 years ago can also be a bit of a loon.

I was wondering about that. Seems that most of the time, military folks are more normal, more reserved than the average person. But once in a while a real loon shows up, and inevitably comes straight from Parris Island or some other similar joint.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Weaseldog said...

You probably have to have an obsessive personality to make it through the space program.

This woman was trained to prepare for and endure, any tribulations in order to accomplish any goals.

The problem here is that she was persuing an unhealthy goal.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

unhealthy goal

Would that be The Stalking, The Pepper Spraying, The Potential Use of the Rubber Clamps & Garbage Bags, or the 900 Miles without Stopping to Urinate part?

Methinks "unhealthy" does a gross disservice to the full-blown insanity on display in this tale. Let's let the gal have her day to the fullest.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Weaseldog said...

You are confusing means with goals...

But yeah, she shouldn't have done those things.

3:32 PM  
Blogger bboyneko said...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v637/bboyneko/lisa_nowak.jpg

pic i made :)

4:03 PM  
Blogger Otto Man said...

I love how she apparently thought of everything except for how she'd get the victim. Knocking on the car door and crying? Sheesh.

Nice goalline fumble, Romo.

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

BBoy - They were asking for pics of Shipman, not Nowak! Can ya' read the comments? ;-)

But seriously, funny picture. I like the box of Depends. Nice touch.

OM - Hey, don't be bringing Romo down to this level. He only blew a game on national TV. This is a whole different league . . . from the National Football League.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Dwilkers said...

Nice goalline fumble, Romo.

OK that got me laughing out loud.

Seriously though, what could she have been thinking? The answer seems to me to be she wasn't. I'm betting we're going to hear she's got a 'medical problem' before this is over.

Wonder what NASA's going to do. Disable her is my guess. I actually kind of feel sorry for her. That mug shot was above the fold front page headline news on the Houston Chronicle today delivered to over a half million homes around here including mine.

/shudder

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I'm betting we're going to hear she's got a 'medical problem' before this is over.

Or just fall down drunk.

A drinking problem seems to be a legit explanation for antisemitism, homosexual pedofilia, philandering, cold-blooded murder of cold-blooded reptiles, etc. So why not lunatic, cross-country, diaper-wearing potential kidnappings?

Check out Comandante Agi's take on it: http://thepime.blogspot.com/2007/02/rehab-revolution.html

6:46 PM  
Blogger Otto Man said...

I'm betting we're going to hear she's got a 'medical problem' before this is over.

The diaper-wearing would certainly help her make that case.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Dwilkers said...

Jeez. She was a Navy Captain! I didn't know that.

Unbelievable. Those not familiar with the Navy may be unaware of this, but most nuclear subs are skippered by commanders (O-5), a step under a captain (O-6). You know, the guys with nuclear missile keys? They aren't as high ranking as this chick is (or was, she's radioactive now obviously).

Not only that, she just gave up a retirement in all likelihood worth over $10k per month.

A Navy Captain is...well if you aren't familiar with it you just won't appreciate how big a deal it is to be a Captain. Its the equivalent of a full bird colonel in the Army or Marines.

Good God Almighty. What an idiot!

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Is it possible that Austronauts are given "artificially" inflated ranks?

And maybe she can petition for a full pension based on the medical condition you & OM were talking about.

At any rate, her life has changed -- much for the worse -- forever after this disaster. I feel sorry for her.

8:07 PM  
Blogger Dwilkers said...

Artificially inflated? I don't know, I honestly don't think so Mike, but maybe. More likely I'd guess she qualified as an astronaut and her promotions got fast-tracked.

And I'm reading that the diaper thing is something every astronaut is well familiar with. Apparently they drink a half gallon of salt solution and wear diapers on reentry due to the affect low gravity has on the body's water content.

Man I am just stunned that somebody in her position did this. A captain. Wow she just embarrassed the hell out of them - they're going to make her eat dirt before they're through.

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Artificially inflated? I don't know, I honestly don't think so Mike, but maybe. More likely I'd guess she qualified as an astronaut and her promotions got fast-tracked.

Fast-tracked is probably a better term than "artificially inflated" to describe what I meant.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Otto Man said...

And I'm reading that the diaper thing is something every astronaut is well familiar with.

Yeah, I realized that after the first shock wore off. Remember the scene in The Right Stuff where Alan Shepherd peed in his suit after the delayed blastoff?

This is just like that. Except it took place in a Chevy instead of a Mercury rocket, and she was going to pepper-spray a rival instead of become the first American astronaut in space.

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

This is just like that. Except it took place in a Chevy instead of a Mercury rocket, and she was going to pepper-spray a rival instead of become the first American astronaut in space.

Nitpicking. Only a terror-supporter impugns NASA & its brave Astronauts.

Why do you hate America, OM?

10:36 PM  
Blogger Dwilkers said...

Nitpicking. Only a terror-supporter impugns NASA & its brave Astronauts.

Heh. Yeah, the turrists have won.

OK the poor gal is on the front page above the fold again today. The pic isn't online or I'd link it but she looks hella better than yesterday.

The story makes her a 1985 Naval Academy grad. That means she had 22 years this spring. I don't remember if the academy years count as time in service but I think they may. If so, she had 26 years.

So at 43 she tossed away a military retirement she had already earned worth about $10-15k per month for life. Just do the math, that's like 40 years times 12 times say $12k - call it $6+ million in US government funds.

Poof!

All over some guy that wouldn't give her the time of day.

Story also says she and her husband split a few weeks ago. Its just a crazy story. I feel sorry for her and all, but I can't figure out what she could have had in mind except to do this other woman harm.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Dwilkers said...

I meant to say this, so I'll say it then leave it alone.

She's a naval academy grad, an astronaut, fast tracked, a captain. She's their golden girl. Whenever anyone asked about the modern navy she's what they'd point at as their example of perfection.

She has humiliated them, called into question everyone's judgment that has been involved with her. Once everything dies down they are going to Fuck. Her. Up. If they can do it to her, and it hurts, they will proceed apace. They will make her life a living hell in every way they can think of.

Pay no attention to all the talk of support and crap like that you're hearing. That's a load of horse shit. When the public eye moves on she's really going to be in for it from her superiors.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Not having been in uniform (except the money suit we lawyers wear to look impressive & all), I'll take your word for it, Dwilk.

As to how she shit it all away, etc, there's one essential piece you're leaving out: she appears to be CRAZY!!!

9:15 AM  
Anonymous SpaceCowboy said...

I'm thinking she should keep the Depends handy for the verdict and sentencing.

3:18 PM  

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