Imagine taking a walk on a beautiful day, only to stumble upon the old, beat up hulk of a priceless lunar rover prototype rusting away in the back yard of a random home in Alabama. Sound far-fetched? Well, it's apparently a true story.

According to the folks at Motherboard, an Air Force historian spotted the machine in 2014 and alerted the proper authorities of the craft's existence. Unfortunately, those officials weren't quick enough to recover the wheeled moon machine from the clutches of near-disaster. According to the story, the man who owned the yard and therefore, we assume, the rover, died and the people in charge of his estate must not have known what they had on their hands. The rover was sold for scrap.

But wait. There's a happy ending, sort of. Operators at the scrap yard apparently did realize what they had bought, and instead of cutting it to shreds and getting whatever recycling value they could manage, they kept the 600-pound rover prototype in one piece.

The vehicle in question can be seen in historical photographs like the one above, driven by none other than Saturn V rocket scientist Wernher von Braun. Officials from NASA have been in contact with the scrap yard, but have yet to offer any sort of cash for its safe return. According to Motherboard, the machine is intact and its current custodian would like to sell it. Well, depending on a pending consultation between the scrap yard and their legal team...

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