The original model for Star Trek's U.S.S. Enterprise emerges after being lost for over 40 years

The first model for the original Star Trek (1966-1969) spaceship, the Enterprise, had been missing since 1979, but recently appeared on an eBay listing. Fans and experts immediately noticed, and once it was authenticated as genuine, was returned to the son of the Gene Roddenberry, the show's creator. Emily Schmall in The New York Times:

"After a long journey, she's home," [Eugene Roddenberry Jr.] wrote on social media on Thursday.

For die-hard Trekkies, the model's disappearance had become the subject of folklore, so an eBay listing last fall, with a starting bid of $1,000, didn't go unnoticed.

"Red alert," someone in an online costume and prop-making forum wrote, linking to the listing.

The seller had found the model in a storage unit, and once he contacted Heritage Auctions to authenticate it, a transfer to Mr. Roddenberry was arranged, who gave the seller an undisclosed "reward" for its recovery.

The original U.S.S. Enterprise, a 33-inch model, was mostly made of solid wood by Richard C. Datin, a model maker for the Howard Anderson Company, a special-effects company that created the opening credits for some of the 20th century's biggest TV shows.

An enlarged 11-foot model was used in subsequent "Star Trek" television episodes, and is now part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, where it was donated by Paramount Studios in 1974.

Here is the model in action:

Previously: CBS smashes fans` virtual, noncommercial recreation of the USS Enterprise