"OUT OF CONTROL" - "HOUSTON, WE
Navy Capt. and NASA Astronaut Lisa Nowak's first day (and last, at least for a while) in jail was almost as bizarre as the incredible story of her late-night drive, in diapers, from Texas all the way to Florida, to confront the woman she thought was stealing her boyfriend. [See our related story: FRANTIC FEMALE ASTRONAUT FLIPS OUT].
In the morning, the painfully thin Nowak appeared before a judge in Orlando, Fla. to answer charges of attempted kidnapping, assault and battery, and trying to destroy evidence. By mid-afternoon, as the 43 year -old "super-achiever" and Naval Academy grad prepared to gain her freedom on $15,000 bond, prosecutors "upped the ante" and slammed her with a charge of "attempted first degree murder."
Even then, the troubled officer went free on $25,000 bail, a GPS bracelet attached to her ankle in case she had any ideas about continuing her pursuit of Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman, recovering from her pepper-spraying by Nowak in the Orlando International Airport parking lot. Shipman got a restraining order on Nowak, whom she claimed had been "stalking" her for at least two months.
As for "Romeo" astronaut, Navy Cdr. Bill Oefelein, MilitaryCorruption.com has learned the 41 year-old married father of two children has flown to Kennedy Space Center in Florida to be by Capt. Shipman's side. He is cooperating fully in the investigation, police sources say.
A statement from Nowak's family revealed the veteran test pilot has "separated" from her husband of 19 years "several weeks ago." No mention was made of Capt. Nowak's three young children. It is not known at press time if the slender, blonde Shipman is single, divorced or separated.
PENTAGON UNLIKELY TO COURT-MARTIAL FEMALE OFFICERS IN BIZARRE CASE
In normal circumstances, the three officers might be in big trouble with the military for apparent "adultery," a big bugaboo with the brass when they want to use the regulation to "punish" a target of their ire. But we predict there will be a lot of sympathy for Nowak as "the woman scorned" in the days and weeks ahead. In fact, there might even be a book or TV movie down the road.
The always cautious Pentagon won't want to be seen as "beating up on" Nowak, whose many accomplishments over 22 years of military service might yet get her a retirement pension and no court-martial.
There will be cries of "double-standard" from some quarters, but the only "politically-correct" solution to this mess, the brass hats figure, is to appear to be merciful to an obviously disturbed woman. No need to stir up the feminists any more than necessary by throwing Nowak overboard.
If anyone should answer questions about his extra-curricular love life, it should be Oefelein, who - like Nowak and Shipman - carries an active duty military ID card. He is subject to all the regs forbidding "adultery" and "conduct unbecoming an officer." So perhaps the Pentagon will make an example of him and give the females a free pass.
We shall see.