Akin's Journal -
July 8th, 2005
03:42 pm

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I can get endlessly fascinated about things that most people would probably never even notice.

Take my trip to Las Vegas back in April... a mystery arose from that visit that I have actually spent time trying to solve, without success.

Until last night.  The answer came upon me completely unexpected, from the unlikeliest of all places... the Firefly series.

So, the trip to Vegas... aside from hanging out with mom and dad and my brother, saw a lot of neat stuff.  Shinys everywhere, as [info]moonchylde would likely say...

 

Some odd stuff, too...

Oh, goodie!  Only 2, 554 more miles to go!  heh... Are we there yet?

Went to the Mirage, which has a really cool gigantic aquarium in the lobby... it is much larger than this picture indicates!

 

Also at the Mirage, is Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat, which was pretty neat.  I know, I know, I see all kinds of neat animals at work every day, but still...

   

We don't have any black panthers at the zoo... or white lions!  The male white lions were lounging where I couldn't get a good look at them, unfortunately...

   

We do have snow leopards... but this one was crazy!  He was desperately trying to get at a gigantic white tiger!  Kitty, that guy would have eaten you for lunch if the fences hadn't been there!

At the Bellagio, they have a really neat Conservatory & Botanical Gardens...

    

   

It had a really cool butterfly habitat too...

   

   

But, I digress... the mystery...

As some of you may know, I like to explore.  This includes taking alternate routes to my destinations.  When I went to Vegas this time, I took one such route.  There really is only one way to get there from Los Angeles, which is, of course, the I-15.  However, you can get to the I-15 via many different routes... this time I went up through the Antelope Valley to the 58, which I took to Barstow, and then to the 15.  The 58 is really just a two lane surface street with delusions of grandeur.

While cruising through the desert along the 58, I passed an old junk yard.  It was notable because there were a lot of old military aircraft!

After I pulled off of the road and got closer, I could look over the fence for a better view.

There was an old Huey helicopter...

The fuselage of what appeared to be an F/A-18 Hornet, which is odd, since they are still in front line service...

   

Three F-111 Aardvarks... these used to basically be strategic bombers!  They were replaced by the F-117, but still, finding them out in the desert was odd to me... hmmm... what the heck is that white thing on the left?

An old Sikorsky S-56, the largest piston-engine powered helicopter ever made (turbine engines came along and were much more powerful and efficient).  This one was obviously later used by some civilian outfit before winding up here in the desert.  There's that white thing again, on the right... what is it?

Here's another view of it, with one of those F-111s in the background.  What the heck is that thing?

This is the best view from over the fence I could get.  At first, I thought it might be the airframe from an old MI-24 Hind-D... but, what would an old Soviet helicopter gunship be doing out in the desert?  Especially painted white, with what appears to be some kind of medical insignia on it?  Besides, it looks too small.  This was the mystery... most people would likely never even have noticed this, or if they had, they would have forgotten it right away.  

But not me... I have spent more than a few hours trying to decipher this.  There were no signs or markings of any kind around the junk yard, and my online searches have proved fruitless.  In the past couple months, I had pretty much given up the search for an answer... although I still thought about it from time to time.

Then, last night, I watched a couple of episodes of Firefly, including Ariel.  In this episode, the crew of Serenity acquires a flying ambulance and infiltrates an Alliance hospital in order to steal valuable medicine, and to help Simon get River to an imaging machine so he can try to figure out what was done to her.

A-HA!  THE FLYING AMBULANCE!

   

   

Mystery solved... it's the full-sized prop used in the show. 

Now then... what the hell is it doing out there?  The junkyard did not look like the one that appeared in the episode, so I doubt it was filmed there... 

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From:arifoxhawk
Date:July 8th, 2005 10:46 pm (UTC)
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The second I your photo of the mysterious white craft I whispered, "FIREFLY", as that episode was the one I saw most recently.

LOL That is SO cool.
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From:akin
Date:July 8th, 2005 10:54 pm (UTC)
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Heh... it is obvious, now that I have seen the episode. At the time, though, I hadn't watched any of them...

I can so totally picture you at the moment of recognition, whispering Firefly with reverence... heh...
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From:nefara
Date:July 8th, 2005 11:37 pm (UTC)

Don't mind me, crazy firefly fanatic here

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oh my god. Where is this again? I'm going to grab it and sell it on ebay.

Or, better yet, take a fellow browncoat's suggestion and put into a museum of all things Firefly!

(you don't know me, but I just had to comment on this. Of all the things to find in a junkyard... @.@)
[User Picture]
From:akin
Date:July 9th, 2005 12:07 am (UTC)

Re: Don't mind me, crazy firefly fanatic here

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If you take the 14 north from Lancaster to Mojave, then go east on the 58, you'll pass it before long... it's on the north side of the road...
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From:mrmrsmith
Date:July 9th, 2005 12:10 am (UTC)
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holy yak dung! I wonder if it's possible to buy the damn thing...
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From:harmalicious
Date:July 12th, 2005 03:58 am (UTC)
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This is such an amazingly weird and interesting story. Mind if I share it with the folks at Whedonesque?
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From:tidmore
Date:July 12th, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC)
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Thats so freaking awesome. Someone should totally go free that thing from the junk yard and either sell it or put it in a tv prop museum. Thats so cool.
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From:lazydolphin
Date:July 12th, 2005 05:42 pm (UTC)
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That's about the finest example of random coolness that I can ever remember hearing about. Nice find!

Do these pictures fill anybody else with an irresistible urge to climb inside the husks of old military aircraft and make airplane noises? VROOOOOM! Rat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat! KABOOM!
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From:dianagodessa
Date:July 12th, 2005 06:00 pm (UTC)
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found your LJ via Whedonesqe.com. that just happens to be the koolest thing of randomness ever.

i really hope some1 goes & saves it. it's a part of Sci-Fi history!!

if i was more local i'd so take my truck & pick it up. lol.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 12th, 2005 06:13 pm (UTC)

give it about two or three days

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and I bet it will appear on ebay next week, lol!

Maybe we can also find it on Google Maps/Earth? Heh.

Perhaps the place does specialty props for Hollywood, especially given the F-18 you spotted...
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 24th, 2005 02:56 pm (UTC)

Re: give it about two or three days

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I'm curious as to about how far from barstow you were (and in what direction) when you saw this thing. I'm looking for it on Google Earth now.
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From:perkybitch
Date:July 12th, 2005 06:15 pm (UTC)
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I too found you thru W. Nice! I really do wonder what its doing there tho..*thinks*
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From:wicked_goddess
Date:July 12th, 2005 06:17 pm (UTC)
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I came here via Whedonesque. How cool! I just may have to make a road trip next week.
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From:catvampcrazines
Date:July 12th, 2005 06:36 pm (UTC)
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oh my gosh, hee.. that's neat.
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From:kessadebra
Date:July 12th, 2005 06:49 pm (UTC)

Random Shininess

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I found your LJ through a fellow Browncoat who posts to the New England Browncoats Yahoo List. This is one of the best cases of random shininess ever! I hope a local Browncoat rescues it. If I weren't on the entire opposite end of the country from me, I would certainly organize a Browncoat re-con mission.

Let us know if you hear anything more about its destiny.

Peace and Serenity,

-Kessa

[User Picture]
From:songtyger
Date:July 12th, 2005 06:51 pm (UTC)
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Shiny!
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From:eddy_1985
Date:July 12th, 2005 08:01 pm (UTC)
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That is so cool. I wonder how it ended up in the junkyard. If I lived nearby I'd go out and roleplay as Wash on the weekends with it.
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From:electrcspacegrl
Date:July 12th, 2005 08:03 pm (UTC)
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Just wanted to let you know that this post has been linked to on Whedonesque. Congratulations! What a great find. I hope some Browncoats can somehow salvage it so it doesn't wind up on ebay.
[User Picture]
From:akin
Date:July 13th, 2005 06:24 pm (UTC)
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Hey, since I'm not a member of Whedonesque, could you post over there that I am probably going to go back up there Friday to take more pictures, and if anyone in the LA area wants to tag along they should get hold of me... I should have room for a couple of people…...
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[User Picture]
From:rivereka
Date:July 12th, 2005 08:06 pm (UTC)

Shiny randomness! Random shininess!

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Ok, that is officially just extraordinarily random... Shiny, yes. Random, even more yes.

I'm tempted to fly out right now to go get it. Anyone have a hangar we can use as a Firefly museum? ;-)

Oh, and I got here the same way Kessa did.
[User Picture]
From:neptunepirate
Date:July 12th, 2005 08:51 pm (UTC)
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Found you through whedonesque. I'm suffering from a slight case of jealousy, but otherwise find that to be all sorts of shiny. :) Very random, and very cool.
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From:emeraldsedai
Date:July 12th, 2005 09:34 pm (UTC)
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Extremely cool photoblog--and I LOVE the reveal.

Go, Firefly!
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From:geedeck
Date:July 13th, 2005 01:37 am (UTC)
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That's awesome. So awesome.
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From:singingnymph
Date:July 13th, 2005 07:53 am (UTC)
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Is it wrong to want to have sex in that? LOL

hugs
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From:halleyscomet
Date:July 13th, 2005 02:46 pm (UTC)
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Nope, nothing wrong with that at all.

Although I'd rather find a way to put it on a car or truck frame to make it into a drivable vehicle. Hell, they have cars done up to look like Star Trek shuttle craft, why not this? Imagine pulling up to a showing of "Serenity" in a core medical craft. :)

Imagine driving around the MIT campus in it. On another university note, imagine using it to deliver cadavers to the Harvard Medical School. ;)

Better yet, imagine using it to drive past a group of dressed up Star Wars fans and screaming "Long live the browncoats!" and "Vader is a whining twit!"
San Diego Comic Con - (Anonymous) - Expand
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 13th, 2005 07:40 pm (UTC)

Ariel Art Car

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Okay ... so someone DOES need to rescue this and make it to a really big lawn ornament or an art car ... and as far as sex goes in the thing. Er, um ... no comment on that one but I am sure the new owners can turn it into some sort of a sleep over in the prop for a fee night ... or something less tawdry sounding!

Great post and fantastic find!

GermanCityGirl
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 13th, 2005 07:52 pm (UTC)
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This is so totally awesome and SHINY! I think all Browncoats should chip in and buy it. Since you're closer than I (Nashville) hmmm, would you mind running back up there and finding out how much they are asking for it? We Browncoats simply cannot let this historical artifact bite the dust! Anyone with me? I can be reached at brendameade2002@yahoo.com.

Thanks so much for sharing!
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From:bob_san
Date:July 13th, 2005 09:09 pm (UTC)
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Well that's just goram shiney now isn't it.

Man I do wish I lived out west just to go and see that purdy little thing.

An absolute testament of fandom for anyone who goes out there to buy it.

BTW, HAS anyone actually gone out there to further look into retrieving it?
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From:thelastpaladin
Date:July 14th, 2005 01:26 am (UTC)

Just another passerby

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This time from FireflyFans.net. That's totally sweet. *insert repetition of want to salvage from the junkyard.*
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From:icenrose
Date:July 14th, 2005 05:53 am (UTC)

Re: Just another passerby

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Ditto... Followed a link from Fireflyfans.net.

In all seriousness, SOMEBODY (or a group of somebodies, more likely) needs to save that thing. It's priceless, gorramn it! It must be saved!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 14th, 2005 10:50 am (UTC)

trying to find it on Google Maps

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Is this the general area?
http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=34.907942,-117.080623&spn=0.006656,0.007277&t=k
[User Picture]
From:akin
Date:July 14th, 2005 03:20 pm (UTC)

Re: trying to find it on Google Maps

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From:hazeymarie
Date:July 14th, 2005 11:27 am (UTC)
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OMG I WANT!

Was there a sign for the junk yard? Maybe their business name somewhere??

Btw, found this through a thread on the 'versal browncoats board.
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From:hazeymarie
Date:July 14th, 2005 11:49 am (UTC)
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Now that I look at them more closely.. I think it may actually be the airframe from an old MI-24 Hind-D. Perhaps that's what they used for the prop?
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