Fun_People Archive
19 Jan
East Coast News Update

Date: Thu, 19 Jan 95 19:08:32 PST
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: East Coast News Update

Forwarded-by: (Henry Cate)
From: ?

NEWARK, N.J. - An abandoned 54 Devine St. bus that was noticed by po-
lice today appears to have been the object of a PLO hijacking sometime
in the late 1970s.  Inside were the badly decomposed bodies (pictures
in the late edition) of 17 passengers, 4 hijackers, 3 dogs, and 2 live
bag ladies.  What drew the attention of the police was a fire started
by one of the bag ladies in her attempt to protest the presidential
candidacy of Barry Goldwater.  Her companion stated that she was a
firm Johnson supporter and obsessed with the idea that right wing ex-
tremists, led by Jerry Falwell - though still a mere lad - would take
over the nation and impose THEIR values on us all.  As an honors grad-
uate of Radclife and a certified Liberal Democrat she felt the need to
speak out in a manner that would capture the imagination of the pub-
lic.  So she set fire to herself.  The fire had burned through six
layers of newspaper and crud before the Newark Fire Dept.  managed to
storm the bus and put her out.  Defiantly waving a single finger at
the cameras and shouting "Extremism in the defense of Liberty is no
vice" she promised to do it again as medical attendants took her away.
When our reporter pointed out that this was 1988 and the election the
poor woman was concerned about was long over her companion said, "She
doesn't give up old ideas easily.  We're Liberal Democrats, you know."

Police then entered the bus and discovered the passengers, the hijack-
ers, and the dogs.  One of the hijackers left a diary of his ordeal,
from which it is possible to piece together the story of what happened
on the bus.  It seems that after boarding the bus at 18th Ave. (with-
out the correct change, which caused a brief altercation with the
driver, who tried to refuse them entrance despite the weapons they
carried) they immediately shot two of the passengers but couldn't get
the rest to notice their presence.  They then proceeded to divert the
bus from its formal route and yelling slogans and scattering leaflets
they shot at passers-by as they went - expecting to get the attention
of the authorities and media coverage.  But to their total amazement,
nothing happened except for some desultory return fire from armed
passers-by and being cut off in traffic by a couple of taxi cabs and a
school bus.  Finally they noticed a Newark Police cruiser in traffic
ahead of them and shot out the rear window which caused the cruiser to
speed up and quickly turn off at the next intersection and pull into a
White Castle, where the two officers went inside and sat at the count-
er and looked the other way as the bus crawled by outside.

The first of many nights they spent under a traffic bridge down at
Port Newark trying to understand what was happening to them and fight-
ing off attacks by organized gangs attempting to jack up the bus and
steal the tires and engine.  The passengers still did not acknowledge
their presence.

Dawn rose on the second day and they were full of hope and revolution-
ary zeal.  The driver kept writing on his trip sheet, which they at
first thought might be an attempt to drop a note out calling for help,
which led to a discussion as to should they look the other way in or-
der to finally get some attention, but it turned out he was only mak-
ing note of his overtime.

As they passed through the streets of Newark again, slowing down from
time to time in the traffic, they noticed people would beat on the
doors and shout curses at them, giving rise to the hope they were dis-
covered and just down the street would be a police roadblock and a
showdown before the cameras.  They finally realized the these people
were trying to get ON the bus and were angry they wouldn't stop and
open the doors.

Soon there arose a supply problem as the food they brought with them
was only meant to last a few hours - a day at most - and then they had
counted on the authorities to supply them and their hostages with ev-
erything.  By now the passengers had noticed them since one of them (a
Mr. Rosenberg) was a tort lawyer and had passed his card around to ev-
eryone and assured them that they could sue the bus driver, the bus
company, the city, the state, the nation and perhaps get something
from God for all their suffering and inconvenience.  And he'd take the
standard cut in such cases.  The hijackers felt they were making prog-
ress since they now could get the passengers to acknowledge they ex-
isted.  They pulled into the parking lot of a Burger King "Busses Wel-
come" and ordered a Mr. Polochck, married to Mrs. Polochck (who sat
beside him) for 32 years to go inside and order 45 hamburgers, 10
Whalers, 27 large fries, 20 cokes, and 14 hot apple pies or they would
blow off Mrs. Polochck's head.  He marched into the store as they held
a gun to Mrs. Polochck's head in plain view and ordered 1 hamburger, 1
large fries and 1 coke, turned and smiled, waved good bye to his wife,
shot a bird at the hijackers and sat down at a table to eat.  Totally
nonplused, the hijackers neglected to shoot a raging Mrs. Polochck and
ordered the driver to move on.

(At this point the diary starts to become incoherent.)

They finally managed to obtain a food supply by letting on passengers,
usually little old ladies, with shopping bags waiting in front of food

After several days of failing to attract anyone's attention outside
the bus the hijackers decided to give up and go back to training camp
with this new wrinkle in Urban Warfare Against the Oppressor.  Howev-
er, it seems that the passengers, led by Mr. Rosenberg and aided by
the driver who had been promised he would not be sued but could join
their suit, wouldn't LET THEM OFF THE BUS.  Their thinking was, the
longer the ordeal lasted the greater ammount in damages the passengers
could collect.  The hijackers were low in ammunition, at a loss as to
what to do next and throughly cowed by the demands of the passengers
that they continue the hijacking.  After a feeble attempt to debark
the bus, beat back largely by Mrs. Polochck who lived for revenge a-
gainst her husband, the hijackers were disarmed and herded to the back
of the bus.  (They were found in a pathetic pile under the rear seat.)

It is not known for how long the bus actually managed to roam the
streets of Newark or how all on it came to their grim end.  There
seems to have been some kind of falling out among the passengers.
Some had on white arm bands and some had on red.  In any case the bus
came to rest on the side of Rt22 leading out of Newark heading towards
Springfield and was not investigated by the authorities until the
fire.  How the dogs entered the picture is the big mystery!

We asked the Chief of Police how it could be that a bus load of people
could disappear and no one notice.  He said that it was not unusual,
there were any number of buses missing from the public garages and the
records from the late '70s themselves were missing after an attempt to
investigate charges that the Public Transport Dept. was involved in
selling city busses to Long Island fishing industry officials for use
as artificial reefs off shore.  It would seem that none of the pass-
engers, either the original 17 or the little old ladies picked up lat-
er, were ever missed by anyone.  The driver was carried on the books
as being owed over $3 million in back wages, although it cannot be
determined when he went missing as his union brothers kept punching
his time card in and out up until the day of the fire.

Mr. Polochck was unavailable for comment, being on his honeymoon in
Bermuda with his third (teenage) wife.

The PLO has no record of a hijack team missing in Newark, NJ.

However there is a record of a lost dog in 1980 that seems to fit the
remains of one of the three dogs found on the bus.  A man is on his
way to view the remains and we will bring you an interview with him
about this potentially heart warming story if a positive identifica-
tion is made.


[=] © 1995 Peter Langston []