When I posted a rather ripe tweet about Elon Musk winning the space tourism race - with SpaceX's Inpiration4 orbiting the Earth for days, putting Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos' efforts in the shade - I didn't expect a response from Jared Isaacman.
But the billionaire American joined a response thread, saying, "We spent a lot of time looking at Australia and New Zealand from space. I recorded a message in orbit actually for a friend in NZ who helped make that A-4 Skyhawk transfer possible. Hope you're well Vaughan and congrats on the Lightspeed deal."
The Vaughan in question was Vaughan Fergusson, founder of Auckland-based point-of-sale software company Vend - which this year sold to Canadian company Lightspeed for around $455 million.
"I met Jared through Vend," Fergusson later told the Herald. Vend rubbed shoulders with Isaacman's Shift4 Payments - which has become a payment processing behemoth and is the primary source of the American's US$2.5b fortune.
The now Raglan-based entrepreneur confirmed he had not brokered any international arms deals.
So it remains a mystery who is the friend in NZ who helped Isaacman obtain the RNZAF's fleet of Skyhawks (Isaacman did not immediately respond to a request for comment).
But a couple of suspects emerge in the story of the fighter jets' torturous exit.
In 2001, the then-Labour Government decided to retire the RNZAF's 17 McDonnell Douglas A4-K Skyhawks, which were delivered in 1970.
Ernst & Young was commissioned to manage the sale, with consultant Gareth Morgan put on the case.
In 2005 - when the Skyhawks had a book value of $155m - it seemed a buyer had been found: Arizona company Advanced Training Systems. But ATSI had "issues" with the US State Department, which delayed approval for the deal and it eventually collapsed.
In November 2011, with National by that time in power, Defence Minister Wayne Mapp announced the Skyhawks had finally been flogged off for $7.9m - after incurring about $34m in storage and maintenance costs over the proceeding decade.
The buyer was JDI Holdings, an Isaacman side-gig that offers combat jet training in the US and UK through its subsidiary Draken International (the billionaire has his pilot's licence and is a fighter jet buff).
But it was not until August 2012 that Mapp's successor in the portfolio, Jonathan Coleman, could confirm State Department approval. The Skyhawks were finally shipped to their new owner.
Today, the Skyhawks still feature on Draken's website - albeit now repainted in the private US company's livery - and in 2015, two of them were filmed on manoeuvres at Prestwick Airport in the UK (see clip above).
Isaacman did not disclose how much he paid SpaceX for the three-day flight enjoyed by himself and three guest passengers (pundits estimate US$50m ($71.5m) per person), but he defrayed accusations of a rich boy's frivolous adventure during a tough by for many by launching a US$200m fundraising drive for a pediatric research hospital in the US.
The entrepreneur chipped in US$100m himself, and Musk added a further US$50m to the pot.