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Bill Cotter

Mole Man Found Living Under Flushing Meadows

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HE CAME TO THE FAIR AND NEVER WENT HOME

Exclusive to the Enquirer

Were you one of the millions who visited the World's Fair back in the 60s? If so, you probably went home with sore feet, a hat with a feather in it and a love for Belgian Waffles. Police recently made the startling discovery that one of those millions never left with you - in fact, he has been living on the mostly deserted grounds of the one-time wonderland all these years.

Officers Toody and Muldoon of the 53rd Precinct stumbled on the man's hideaway while searching the grounds for a lost boy scout. Much to their surprise, a section of the grass opened up as the watched and a man furtively sneaked out of an underground complex, walking right into the arms of the amazed cops. After first denying that he had been hiding underground, the man, tentatively identified as S.P. Lunker of Sheboygan, WI, finally told his story.

It seems that Lunker made the trip to New York for the Fair in time for the last day of the two year gala and found he didn't get to see much due to the crowds. "I figured they owed me more than I got to see for my $2", said Lunker, "so I decided to hang around." Days stretched into weeks and then months, but it looked like Lunker would have to leave as demolition crews chewed their way through the temporary buildings and his hiding places vanished. Just as all seemed lost, Lunker realized that the crew assigned to demolishing the Underground World Home, a prototype house in the ground designed to appeal to the fallout shelter fans of the Cold War, had just shoveled some dirt over the entrance tunnel and walked away. A few minutes of digging and he was inside what would be his home for the next four decades.

Details of how he managed to live there undetected all this time remain sketchy. City workers found he had tapped into the utility system that remained in place on the Fair ground site, and even had an old-style 10-button telephone to keep in touch with family back home. Authorities suspect Lunker lived off the money he received for recycling cans and bottles left behind by park visitors, and by recycling parts of pavilions that had been thrown into local waterways.

While the city tries to decide what charges, if any, to bring against Lunker, his former home away from home has been sealed off, and he is reportedly staying in Co-Op City in the Bronx. An Enquirer photographer was able to get the following exclusive photos of this subterranean Shangri-la.

nywf-home-1.jpg

Two city workers pause outside the front door to the underground hideaway.

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Imagine - no pesky salesman ever rang this doorbell!

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Once inside the doorway an entire house greeted the amazed officers.

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S.P. Lunker sits on his underground patio looking through a guidebook to the old fair. "I missed so much", he said, "and should see about a refund."

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Amazingly he even had a television set, although only in black and white. Color was still a relatively new invention back in 1964.

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The sumptuous, but lonely, master suite. Lunker expressed remorse at never meeting any of the hostesses who worked upstairs when the fair was open.

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Hmmmm...S.P. Lunker living underground.....and spelunker--a cave explorer. I wonder if there is a connection here.

Where have I seen those photographs before?

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I presume these are more newly scanned photos from the Lambertus horde?

Toody and Muldoon should have been the giveaway to us baby boomers-

Car 54 Where are You?

There's not really a 53rd precinct- it was mythical solely for the TV show.

Eric Paddon, the TV history buff, would have got this one right away.

q2.jpg

If the taller of the two looks a little like Herman Munster, it's no coincidence.

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If the taller of the two looks a little like Herman Munster, it's no coincidence.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Looks more like a former presidential candidate!

Funny how this board censors words. When I type in "J-O-H-N K-E-R-R-Y" I get John Super Man.

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Looks more like a former presidential candidate! 

From the words of Herman himself:

"Of course, I myself am related to Sen. K. by blood" but he also says about the current war on terrorism "they made me so mad, I was just about ready to get ol' Spot and go cave-to-cave and smoke 'em out myself."

quotes from this can't-miss article:

Click here

By the way Bill, your Mr. Lunker may have some rights:

http://www.legal-database.com/squatters-right.htm

The "open to the world" requirement might be tough though, seeing as how the Underground Home is just that- underground.

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I smell a very good screenplay in this charming story. Even thought of a name already....Guess I'll have to share profits with Mr. Cotter.

Toody and Muldoon, in deed!

Denise

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I couldn't resist having some fun with these pictures - what, let Randy T and Bill Y be the only ones to post a spoof? The pictures are indeed from the pile I have been working on for Randy Lambertus, and since pictures of the Underground World Home are very unusual, I wanted to share them with the group. I thought people might enjoy a few of the hidden things in the story, like Toody and Muldoon being there looking for a lost boy scout (remember the "Car 54" theme song? "There's a scout troop short a child, Kruschev's due at Idlewild"). Also, where else to send poor Mr. Lunker but to Co-op City, where perhaps he will find a remnant of Freedomland to hide in.

Bill

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I remember begging my father to build US an underground home after our tour of this one. This place was really, really nice. The patios, landscaping and gardens were like nothing I had ever seen in my 12 New Hampshire years. I remember liking the idea of being able to change the view outside our windows - and not having to shovel the front walk. (I must not have considered the parking area or driveway!)

I also remember thinking that my dad would actually consider it. Yuh, right!!

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Do you have an expanded view of that TV? I'm guessing it's an RCA color set, and it might be showing that missing boy scout from the studio at the RCA pavilion.

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I am sure the area around the door was heated so in a blizzard you could open the door. I sure wish I had the heated sidewalks some of my neighbors have. I blew snow last night around 9 and looking out my windows you would never know it.

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I am sure the area around the door was heated so in a blizzard you could open the door.

The entrance area for the World's Fair's Underground Home. I doubt that snow removal considerations were much different than for the entrance of above-ground homes.

T16P51.jpg

©Mike Kraus

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Yup, Blast from the Past is a great movie.

Whenever I come across it when channel surfing I always have to stop and watch it.

If you haven't seen it, go for it... it's a goodie.

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