Around 1978, the three foot model of the USS Enterprise from Gene Roddenberry’s desk was loaned and never returned.
Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, kept the original three foot model of the Enteprise on his desk. This model was used for all effects shots in “The Cage” except for the zoom in on the bridge. After Star Trek: The Original Series was cancelled in 1969, the model was given to Roddenberry in 1975 when he returned to his office for another Star Trek production. Roddenberry loaned it and never got it back.
In 2010, Roddenberry’s personal assistant, Susan Sackett, said the model was “ripped off during the late 1970s when the first movie was being made. It was last seen at a special effects house…”
According to Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, “That particular ship was a real model and it was Gene’s – he loaned it to someone and Gene forgot to get it back and it was never returned. It’s a shame because it’s a piece of stolen property and since it has historical value – it is quite priceless.”
Now, that Enterprise may very well be the one that has been discovered in an abandoned storage unit.
According to a tweet shared by @Trekcore co-owner Alex Perry, the model recently showed up at an Ebay auction listed for $1,000.
The auction was ended on October 31st by the seller, perhaps after discovering exactly what it was that was up for sale, but a helpful fan provided a screenshot of the auction before it was removed.
Fans are hoping that if this is the model that was owned by Roddenberry the current owner will send it to Rod Roddenberry so that it can be back where it belongs.
However, the model was included in an abandoned storage unit which was rightfully purchased. So, the ownership lines might be a bit troublesome. One would think, though, that a stolen piece of merchandise would have to be returned to its rightful owner, and since Rod is Roddenberry’s heir, the model should be sent back to him.