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Repossessed Comanche Helicopters For Sale On eBay
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WASHINGTON - FBI Agents are investigating the appearance of three prototype Comanche helicopters on the online auction site, eBay. The aircraft were initially listed for $1, with an undisclosed reserve. The three separate auctions all promise technical assistance in transporting the aircraft, and training, but make it clear that spare parts will not be available. "We want to know who decided it was ok to put these aircraft up for sale," said Special Agent MaryJo Tyler, "And we want to correct that viewpoint."

Sikorsky and Boeing are the lead contractors on the recently-cancelled Comanche Army helicopter project. When contacted about the sale, Sikorsky representatives confirmed that they have "repossessed prototypes from Army testing facilities" and are examining "all available recourse to minimize the business loss" due to the cancellation. No responses were received to emails sent to the eBay user, SikorskyRepo.

"They are not out any money," said Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, "They were paid to develop a weapon that we have decided we do not need in order to defend this nation. The costs of that development were borne by the people of the United States. Not by Sikorsky. Not by Boeing. By you and me. They were amply rewarded for their efforts and have no losses to recoup. And even if they feel they need more money, this is not the way to get it. This is going to cost them."

Despite the official bluster, it is unclear that Sikorsky -- if they are behind the sale -- is breaking any laws by selling the helicopters. "The Army would have already confiscated all the classified materials," said military legal expert Eugene Fidell, "and that means these things are just so much scrap metal. They can melt them down and recover $500 in materials, or they can sell them for probably a few million a pop. I can't say I'd play it any differently." Without a law clearly being broken, eBay sources say the auctions will not be taken down.

Ominously, the high bidder at the time of this writing is OBLaden, for $275,000. The reserve has not yet been met.
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