FEMALE ASTRONAUT FLIPS OUT
An apparent love triangle between an aging female Navy captain; her love interest, handsome NASA Astronaut Bill Oefelein; and a young female Air Force officer who had caught his eye and may have captured his heart, erupted into violence in the early morning hours after Super Bowl Sunday, Orlando, Fla. cops say.
Lisa Marie Nowak, 43, was arrested at Orlando International Airport following an 0430 scuffle with USAF Capt. Colleen Shipman as the attractive officer tried to drive away in her car.
A 1985 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Nowak was charged with attempted kidnapping, assault and battery and attempted destruction of evidence. The frantic female was ordered held without bail.
CAPTAIN DROVE THROUGH THE NIGHT TO CONFRONT YOUNG LOVE RIVAL
Investigators said they confiscated a wig, knife, BB-gun and other materials from Nowak who told police she had been in a "relationship" with Oefelein. The disheveled Space Shuttle flier told cops she found out Shipman was coming to Florida to see the male astronaut and immediately jumped in her car and drove through the night to intercept her rival at the airport.
In a bizarre twist to the tale, Nowak explained she had diapers in her car - she came all the way from Texas - in case she "had to go to the bathroom" en route.
The onetime U.S. Navy poster girl said the black trench coat she wore with a frizzy wig were to disguise herself as she trailed Shipman from an airport taxi stand to the parking lot.
"I'd just got into my vehicle when I heard running footsteps," Shipman told investigators. The Air Force captain said a strange woman (Nowak) tried to yank open the car door, claiming first that she needed a ride, then asked for the use of a cell phone.
Shipman cautiously rolled down the driver's side window a couple inches. That's when Nowak allegedly sprayed the officer with chemicals and tried to commandeer the vehicle. Shipman's cell phone call for help resulted in Nowak's capture.
Inside the astronaut's automobile, police found copies of e-mails between Shipman and Oefelein as well as "Mapquest" directions from Houston to the Orlando airport.
NOWAK "FLIPS OUT" IN IGNOMINIOUS END TO ILLUSTRIOUS CAREER
The 26 year-old Shipman is a 2002 graduate of Penn State University and was assigned as an engineer with the 45th Launch Support Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base near the Kennedy Space Center. She is said to have begun work at Cape Canaveral in May 2005.
MilitaryCorruption.com has obtained Nowak's extensive NASA biography which lists her as a Naval Academy grad with a degree in aerospace engineering and veteran test pilot with more than 1,500 flight hours in 30 types of aircraft. She is a self-described "gourmet cook," pianist, marathon runner and was a star on the Naval Academy's track team. A respected mission specialist with NASA and already a "four-striper" captain in the Navy, Nowak's intense drive and determination would surely have propelled her to the rank of admiral before she retired.
Now the mother of three children, (no mention anywhere
of her husband), Nowak is the first NASA Astronaut in history to be charged
with a felony and faces the tragic end of what had been, until now, an
illustrious military career.