THE WRIGHT BROTHERS VS. GUSTAVE WHITEHEAD: WHO ACTUALLY MADE THE FIRST FLIGHT?

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Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight, by Susan O’Dwyer Brinchman (Apex Educational Media, La Mesa, CA, 2015, 432 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

July 23, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - I was absolutely astounded and flabbergasted after reading Susan Brinchman’s Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight, for all my life and throughout elementary school and into college I had been taught that the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were the pioneers of modern aviation. In this fascinating and well documented and researched book, Brinchman states: “Paul Jackson, Editor-in-Chief of the century-old Jane’s All the World Aircraft (2013), often referred to as ‘the bible of aviation history’, announced in its Centennial Issue, in March, 2013, that Whitehead was ‘first to fly’, ahead of the Wrights, and was the inventor of the airplane, based on the mountainous evidence accumulated over the previous eight decades.”

This La Mesa, California resident, Brinchman, is uniquely suited to present documentation concerning Gustave Whitehead. She has been intimately involved with Whitehead research for the past five decades; interacted with many of the previous researchers, was present for some interviews with witnesses, and as a native of Fairfield, CT, where these first flights occurred, is familiar with the places Whitehead lived and flew.

The author presents stunning new discoveries, solidifying the case for recognition of Gustave Whitehead as the “True Inventor of the Airplane” and “First in Powered Flight.” Ironically, it comes at a time when a book by David McCullough, The Wright Brothers (Simon & Shuster), is #1 on the New York Times Bestseller’s list. It really makes you wonder if The Wright Brothers were #1 on the New York Times Bestseller’s List, with the revelations and documentation by Brinchman in Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight, what does it say for this book? 

The author frames her very compelling book and story as the “Hidden History of Gustave Whitehead & the Wrights”, and reveals in this book little known facts about the first flights of Whitehead and the Wright brothers that will change perceptions about early aviation history, forever. She speaks of conspiracy theories. When I say initially that I was absolutely astounded and flabbergasted after reading Brinchman’s book, the details and research she provides in this book will convince others as well. She categorically states, and with conviction: “Connecticut aviation pioneer Gustave Whitehead invented and flew powered aeroplanes in 1901, over two years before the Wright brothers’ flights at Kitty Hawk.

Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight, is bound to raise a lot of controversy, but Brinchman provides in this book documentation and unimpeachable evidence and eyewitness accounts to counter that. This is a stunning book, that shakes my very core. It reads like a mystery novel, or spy and espionage story by Robert Ludlum. Everything that I had been taught as a child in grammar school and throughout college about the history of aviation and the Wright brothers, has now been turned upon its head. Brinchman has convinced me! There are conspiracies and coverups that one would not expect from something as historic as the evolution of flight.

Brinchman, actually has a vested interest in this book and story, as her father, Major William J. O’Dwyer discovered in 1963 photographs of a Whitehead aeroplane taken on the grounds of the Brooklawn Country Club Fairway, on the border of Fairfield and Bridgeport, Connecticut. For over half a century Brinchman continued the quest of her father, to place Gustave Whitehead in his rightful place, that of First in Flight, before the Wright brothers. It is clear from the history books that Orville and Wilbur Wright made that famous flight at Kitty Hawk, but the author would have you to believe by countless eyewitness accounts and sworn affidavits that Gustave Whitehead made the first flight two years earlier, in 1901.

Proof of the flights by Gustave Whitehead was abundant, even in the 1960’s. Resistance to the information by the Smithsonian was strong and hard to fathom – that is, until “the Contract” with Orville Wright’s heirs was unearthed by Maj. O’Dwyer in 1976, with the assistance of Senator Lowell Weicker, Jr. (later, Governor), of CT, published in “History by Contract” (O’Dwyer and Randolph, 1978). The “Smithsonian-Wright Agreement of 1948”, between the Wright executors and the United States of America, stipulated that the Smithsonian Institution would purchase the original Wright Flyer for $1 and other considerations, but neither the venerable Smithsonian Institution or its near-200 affiliated museums and research facilities could recognize any other airplane or person as “first in flight”, or the Wright Flyer would revert to the heirs. This “Contract” as it came to be called, finally explained the extreme reactions that had been seen to documentation of Whitehead’s successful flights by Smithsonian officials and their agents. This agreement is still in place, legally, today, so says Brinchman. Not until 2014, during the research conducted for this book, however, did it become known that those who crafted the required labels for the Wright Flyer crediting Orville were the same friends of Orville Wright who had worked together for nine years to disparage Whitehead as “first in flight”. We have, unfortunately, received an incomplete and some think, misleading history of first flight and early aviation, so says Brinchman. Thus, the conspiracy theory!

This book is replete with photographs and diagrams documenting the construction and flight of Whitehead’s “first in flight” aerial device, as well as affidavits and numerous eyewitness accounts crediting Gustave Whitehead with being the “first in flight” two years before the Wright brothers. In a telephone interview with the author, she indicated to me that her prime motivation for writing this book was to correct history. Perhaps this comes from her lifetime of being an educator.

Perhaps most revealing in this book is how Gustave Whitehead himself describes that first flight in 1901, as he states: “I never felt such a strange sensation as when the machine first left the ground and started on her flight. I heard nothing but the rumbling of the engine and the flapping of the big wings. I don’t think I saw anything during the first two minutes of the flight, for I was so excited with the sensations I experienced. When the ship had reached a height of about forty or fifty feet I began to wonder how much higher it would go. But just about that time I observed that she was sailing along easily and not raising any higher.”

This is a fascinating story, but more than that, it is an attempt to correct history. This true history of the first years of powered flight is a must-read that leaves no doubt of Whitehead’s accomplishments, changing perceptions about early aviation history, forever. For a signed copy of the book from the author go to www.gustavewhiteheadbook.com.

"Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight" is available on Amazon in print and as an eBook here.

Dennis Moore is the Associate Editor of the East County Magazine in San Diego and the book review editor for SDWriteway, an online newsletter for writers in San Diego that has partnered with the East County Magazine, as well as a freelance contributor to EURweb based out of Los Angeles. Mr. Moore can be contacted at contractsagency@gmail.com or you can follow him on Twitter at: @DennisMoore8.

   

Comments

Whitehead-First in Flight

Fascinating topic, facinating book. I checked with a neighbor from Germany and he said he knew all about Gustave Whitehead being first in flight. His comment reminded me once again that our school-taught history in the US has left out many important facts and much information about the world around us. It's very sad from a historical point that some of the commenters here, I feel, appear to get emotionally upset when material written is contrary to what they've grown up to believe. Thank you Ms. Brinchman for your enlightening book:)

New Information About Whitehead

This book "Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight" has been long awaited. It does not disappoint. There is more strong evidence than ever that Whitehead flew his machines at least by 1901. Many of your questions will be answered from why Whitehead's flights were later discounted to why he had troubles refining his plane into a more useful machine. Of course, the Wrights launched a full fledged campaign to convince the world that Whitehead was a hoax. It's in the book. But they did that with every other aviation pioneer who threatened their status as "first to fly;" and that campaign continues to this day by those who defend the slanted Wright version of aviation history.

"Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight"

Well worth the read for the critical thinkers out there. Well organized, and well documented historical piece. Should have the Wright "cultists" in a frenzy.

Credible Evidence for Whitehead Being First to Fly

There is an amazing amount of credible evidence that Whitehead flew long before the Wrights in this book. It seems that it was common knowledge in Whitehead's neighborhood that he was flying fairly regularly before the Wrights claimed a first flight. It is sad that Mr. Whitehead, being a poor immigrant couldn't get the credit he so deserves. I too would like to see a movie version that would expose all the credible evidence that has been ignored regarding Mr. Whitehead. This stands as a vindication of a man who truly deserves to be regarded as first in flight! This is a must read for everyone.

"Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight" Now Amazon Kindle eBook

"Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight" is now available on Amazon as a Kindle eBook. If you have an Amazon Prime account, you may read it free! Also, part of the Kindle Lending Library and you can share it with a friend or family member when it is on loan ... Highly recommended for anyone interested in early aviation history and particularly for those who read "The Wright Brothers" as this book will give you behind the scenes information that David McCullough missed!

Here's the link:
Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight
https://kdp.amazon.com/amazon-dp-action/us/bookshelf.marketplacelink/B01...

Logical Strike Out

Senior Aviator, Your comment(s) is so full of logical fallacies, one wouldn't know where to start to debate with you. You are particularly guilty of circular reasoning. If you and your other 38 "historians" are convinced by your arguments, maybe they should go back to school. It isn't any wonder that you choose not to reveal your name and credentials, because these statements would come back to haunt you big time. You can give any number of assumptions why I care not to answer you, but number one on the list should be the bias you show so obviously and that writers today are beginning to see through. The emperor has no clothes. Please continue. You are weaving yourself into your own web.

Cummings, these statements of

Cummings, these statements of yours are meaningless. You continue to spew nonsense about "logical fallacies" and "circular reasoning" - but again, you provide nothing to substantiate your anti-Wright claims. That you cite "bias" as an excuse for not answering is incredible, as you admitted that you have a personal stake in the debate, suggested that people examine evidence with preconceived bias (in your words, "with the knowledge that the Wrights misrepresented facts"), and again, admitted that you "pretty much" believe that everything the Wrights "wrote, said or did was part of some brilliant effort to claim for themselves sole credit for every advance in aviation that led to powered flight and deny such credit to others". With this in mind, how can you possibly accuse others of bias? We have asked repeatedly for real evidence to back up your claims. You have provided none. There is nothing more to say.

Truth

Curtiss erred in associating with Augustus Herring and Albert Zahm. Curtiss, Zahm and their witnesses repeatedly testified that a rudder is not necessary to control an airplane during flight maneuvers. This is, and they knew, a complete lie. The Wright brothers never patented "wing warping." They patented dynamic flight control consisting of aerodynamic devices to control an aircraft in pitch, roll and yaw. In particular they demonstrated the need to make coordinated turns in order to maintain the balance of an airplane. Glenn Curtiss did not invent ailerons, which were covered by the Wright patent. The Federal courts upheld the decisions of Judge Hand and Hazel upon appeal by a three judge appellate panel and these decisions are among the most famous and quoted in patent law. Curtiss defrauded his partner Augustus Herring, as the courts determined. The Wrights spent two years in which they did not pursue financial wealth in an attempt to sell their inventions and discoveries to government entities, which would have allowed them to return to the development of the airplane, rather than commercial pursuits of which they had no interest. This was not to be, and they were forced to commercialize their invention. This required sufficient capitol to prosecute patent infringers, which is a necessary requirement of patent holders. No one regretted this more than the Wrights. Wilbur's brilliant testimony eviscerated the testimonies of Zahm and Curtiss. The Langley Aerodrome affair was a fraudulent and failed attempt to get around the Courts' decisions. The legal necessity to defend the Wright patent required them to prosecute all those attempting to commercialize their invention. Naturally, this was enormously unpopular, especially in the press and among those who did not understand the wide interpretation the courts granted the patent. To this day, writers fail to understand this. Fortunately, the court record is very clear. While patent law evolves and one can always find legal professionals to disagree with nearly every decision, one can seek to change or reinterpret the law but one not can not change the history. Have no sympathy for the Wrights and the enormous loss and injury suffered by Orville and criticize his decision to retreat from commercial pursuits for which he had neither the experience, talent nor desire to pursue if it gives you pleasure, but your misguided ridicule reflects not upon Orville, but upon you. It has always been the world against the Wrights. The Wright legacy withstood prolonged attacks by the wealthy, connected and powerful. The Wrights prevailed in the courts and eventually in the court of public opinion although fading echoes of these shameful and failed efforts to distort the historical record continue to this day.

Another Farewell At Last?

Airman, my comment was chiefly directed to "NC Aviator," not you "Airman," whoever you are. It would be much more honorable if you would identify yourself and your qualifications in order to debate in a forum such as this. I directly quoted an unwarranted insult NC Aviator, whoever he is, made against Ms. Brinchman. As for your arguments, I see nothing that indicates you are able to digest anything other than the history that the Wrights manufactured for the world at large, particularly Orville. I am sure Glenn Curtiss had plenty of faults as any human has, but among them were not Senior Aviator's obviously biased, whoever he is, accusations. And Curtiss was not at all guilty of criminal behavior like the Wrights said he was in defending his method of lateral control which was an improvement over the Wrights,' and his holding of the patent for the aileron proves it.You are entitled to your opinion that the Wrights were honest as the day is born, that the judges in the Wrights case had no social or political connections to the Wright company, and all the other defenses you make pro Wright. That you appear biased and nonobjective is our opinion and we are entitled to that opinion. I don't advance myself as an expert or a historian. I simply support my opinion with references and documents and pure logical analysis. Otherwise, I say it is speculation or conjecture to try to explain the obvious contradictions in the Wright history. I do have an advanced degree, but it doesn't promote any qualifications I might have here except that I do have some knowledge of what a scholarly approach is to analysis and argument. I don't see a lot of that here, only an effort to drown out other opinions.

A Hopeful Farewell

Mr. Gray, I apologize to you for my attempt at humor, quoting Mel Brooks, who compared the birth of the art critic to an "afterbirth." Now wouldn't it be civilized and scholarly of Mr. NC Airman to apologize to Ms. Brinchman for his recent statement? "This vile post demonstrates the character of its author. Personal attacks and claims of conspiracy and false charges populate this scatter-brained diatribe. The book "Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight" contains all one needs to understand the Whitehead hoax." Mr. NC Airman and all. We get it. You believe you have enough evidence to prove that everything the Wrights said and wrote about themselves and their achievements is true. Anyone can read all of their claims in the uncounted books written about them, that repeat their claims. It is sad that they were unable to run their business and add to their inventory of inventions due to the two dozen individuals they believed they had to sue to protect their 1906 patent. It is too bad that Orville's loss of his brother and his sciatica made him unable to successfully invent for the rest of his life--or to even answer the letters that were written to him pleading to make their airplanes safer. As for Wright historians' claims that they started the airplane business, did not hinder it in the U. S. with their lawsuits, and taught everyone to fly, I'm afraid there is solid evidence that this is not true and that the Wright business was a failure, Orville's investors wanted out, and it was sold to another group of investors, who were actually sued by the U. S. government for fraud. But that's another story.

Correction

After re-reading your post, I note that there appears to have been confusion between my screen name and that of another poster, rather than a suggestion that I was posting under two names. I also noted that the "vile" comment was part of a direct quote. I feel it is necessary to point out these errors in my reply below.

Parting Thoughts

First off, you seem to suggest that I am posting under more than one name, which I am not. Further, suggesting that my comments are "vile" does nothing to discredit them. Ms. Cummings, we also get it. You have attempted to discredit the Wrights with arguments you were entirely unable to substantiate, despite numerous requests to do so. We also get that, as you yourself stated, you "pretty much" believe that everything the Wrights "wrote, said or did was part of some brilliant effort to claim for themselves sole credit for every advance in aviation that led to powered flight and deny such credit to others". As illustrated above, you also seem to take every opportunity possible to take a shot at the Wrights. However, much like Susan's arguments, taking shots at the Wrights will not prove that Whitehead flew or that Glenn Curtiss was a flawless saint. The fact that your arguments (and Susan's) are so dependent on ridiculous, unsupported conspiracy theories and blaming others (particularly the Wrights), gives us a clear indication of what these arguments really are: absolute nonsense. I hope that at some point you will be able to examine Curtiss' actions, and the court's judgement against him, with even a modicum of objectivity - and accept them for what they are without attempting to tear down the accomplishments and good names of others.

A request from the editor

The comments on this story are drowning out comments on our other important stories - as only the 10 most recent comment posts show up on the left side of our homepage. While we welcome discussion, this has turned into such a heated debate that it's prevent other commenters on other stories from being seen.  I ask that folks please take a step back and that we don't have a couple of commenters dominating the discussion with numerous comments daily as we're seeing.  We could close the discussion, which I would prefer not to go, but I do ask that we give everyone an opportunity to be heard without any single person dominating discussion on our site.

Thanks for your consideration.

Last Call, Lights Out !

Miriamg,
Once comments begin to repeat the repetitive repetitions, it's probably time to close the "Comments" - I'd prefer you close these "Comments." This discussion will find its way to other outposts of the internet, I'm certain of that.
I do wish you or someone had been quicker to moderate the comments, and to remove the overt personal attacks.

Wright Witnesses--Only Two

Parallel examples of Wright witnesses: " I was present on the occasion when Mr. Orville Wright succeeded in flying his machine, propelled by a motor, on a flight of about one hundred twenty feet. distance, at about six feet off the ground, for a length of time approximating twelve seconds--from level ground." Measured how, by whom? Timed how, by whom? Could it have actually been one hundred feet? Could the time be six seconds? Could it have been from a hill? Who else was there? What time was the flight? What control system was used? This was how long ago? Oh, the same day. Witness: Wilbur Wright One down "I was present on the occasion when Mr. Wilbur Wright succeeded in flying his machine, propelled by a motor, on a flight of about eight hundred fifty two ft. distance, at about six feet off the ground, for a length of time approximating fifty nine seconds--from level ground." Measured how, by whom? Timed how, by whom? Could it have actually been one hundred feet? Could the time be six seconds? Could it have been from a hill? Who else was there? What time was the flight? What control system was used? This was how long ago? Oh, the same day. Witness: Orville Wright Two down Two more down. Same reasons. All down.

Wright flights

The Wright 1903 machine had flight controls (pitch, yaw and roll control) and instruments to measure time and motor revolutions. Photographs were taken as well as extensive notes. The Wrights were experienced test pilots and knowledgable observers of times and distances from their previous experimentation with gliders. The Wright summarized their experiments in an official statement after news reports leaked out regarding these flights. These news stories were full of the sort of erroneous information that the Whitehead case is based upon. The Wright success is not predicated upon useless witness statements by inexperienced observers, but a six year process of experimentation, with actual documentation (including extensive photography) supported and witnessed by experienced aeronautical experts that resulted in the first successful flights, a pioneer patent on dynamic three-axis flight control and the development of an international industry that changed the course of human events. A vast collection of fully researched artifacts also survive which further document their pioneering efforts. The United States government built a national monument to this effort. Monuments across the nation as well as in Europe honor the Wright achievement as well a countless awards, medals and citations. To this day, each year, a Presidential proclamation honors the events of December 17, 1903. Yes, its is instructive to compare Whitehead to the Wrights.

More Witness Statements

Junius Harworth: "On August fourteenth, Nineteen Hundred and One. I was present and assisted on the occasion when Mr Whithead (sic) suceeded in flying his machine propelled by a motor, to a height of two-hundred feet off the ground or sea beach at Lordship Manor, Connecticut. The distance flown was approximately one mile and a half and lasted to the best of my knowledge for four minutes." He then goes on to give details which we can compare to the infamous August 18, 1901 article. Height of flight: "two-hundred feet off the ground". Wrong, Motor: "four cylinder-two cycle". Wrong. Ignition: "make and break type and used Columbia dry batteries." Wrong. Fuel: "petrol". Wrong. Construction: pine, spruce and bamboo reinforced with Shelby steel tubing and piano wires". Wrong. Wing covering: "japanese silk". Wrong. Three down. John Lesko: Length of flight: "50 ft. intervals distance, at about four feet off the ground, for a length of time approximating a few seconds at a time." Ok, so no actual controlled flight, just a series of short hops. Four down. Michael Werer: "On about Sept. or Oct. 1901 I was present on the occasion when Mr. Whitehead succeeded in flying his machine, propelled by a motor, on a flight of about four hundred ft. distance, at about six feet off the ground, for a length of time approximating half minute." Measured how, by whom? Timed how, by whom? Could it have actually been one hundred feet? Could the time be six seconds? Who else was there? What time was the flight? What control system was used? This was how long ago? 33 years ago? Five down.

Let's Analyze the Witness Statements

Alexander Gluck: "Approximately 1901 or 1902, when I was ten or twelve years of age I was present on an occasion when Mr. Whitehead succeeded in flying his machine, propelled by a motor, on flight of some distance, at a height of four or five feet from the ground." On what date? Where? Some distance? Ten or twelve feet perhaps? Thirty two or thirty three years ago. Ten or twelve years old? One down... Louis Darvarich: "In approximately April or May, I was present and flew with Mr. Whitehead on the occasion when he flew his machine, propelled by a steam motor, on a flight of approximately a half mile, at a height of about 20 to 25 feet from the ground... We were unable to to rise high enough to avoid a three-story building in our path...I had been firing the boiler." Ha, ha, ha, ha. I flew too!!! Firing the boiler on a one minute or less flight!!! Where was the flight? How was it controlled? Oh wait, it wasn't, we ran right into a building. Press reports? Nah. Oh wait, wait, wait.. "In 1902, I was present on another occasion, this time in Bridgeport, Connecticut, when Mr. Whitehead succeeded in flying his machine, propelled by a motor, approximately four or five feet off the ground." Really? How long was this flight? Did this one have a control system? Seriously? Two down.

More Witnesses

John A. Ciglar: "one of the planes constructed by the late Gustave Whitehead rose from the ground to a height of approximately twelve feet and traveled under its own power a distance of approximately thirty feet before it fell to the ground and burst into flames." Six down. John Lesko: Describes only one flight attempt, not by Whitehead, but by Junius Harworth: "Once he started the propellers down in the meadows. He could not see ahead, and crashed over the dyke. Harnworth slid about a hundred feet before he stopped." Seven down. Louis Lazay: Another flight attempt by Harworth, not Whitehead. "He had ropes on the plane to tow in starting it, and also started the motor. Junius Harworth was in the plane at the time. He went off the embankment on Bostwick Avenue and landed in a ditch. The distance must have been at least 175 to 180 feet. The machine rose about as high as 30 to 40 feet." Not a flight, towed launch, unmeasured distance, no control system. Eight down. Joseph Ratzanberger: "I recall the incident very well because I was one of several boys who clung to the back of the plane as it rose into the air and carried us off our feet." Really? Several boys clung to the back as it took off? Right. Nine down.

Even more

Thomas Schweikert: "I was a boy at the time, playing on a lot near the Whitehead shop on Cherry Street, and I recall the incident very well as we were surprised to see the plane leave the ground. It travelled a distance of approximately three hundred feet, and at a height of approximately fifteen feet in the air, to the best of my recollection." To the best of my "childhood" recollection. Ever returned to a place you haven't seen since you were a kid? Could it have been one hundred feet in length and five feet in the air? Was it a glider? Did the machine have a control system? If Whitehead flew all the time, why were you surprised? Didn't you see or hear of all the other "supposed" flights? Ten down. Cecil Steeves: "I watched him test a plane while it travelled around and around, in a circle, these tests taking place in his yard, with the plane tied by a rope to a stake which had been driven into the ground." and "At a later date Mr. Whitehead had a trial flight ...the plane at this flight being up in the air." When? How high? What distance? Was it a powered flight, or a towed glider? Then this fellow claims to have seen Wilbur and Orville secretly visit Whitehead's shop. Really? Eleven down. John F. Fekete: "In May or June... Mr. Whitehead got his plane 30 feet in the air and travelled 200 feet before landing without damage. The flight started with a downhill run of about fifteen feet." Was this a piloted flight, or unmanned, as Whitehead claimed? Distance measured how? Twelve down. Frank Layne: "I know nothing about the technical matters concerning airplanes and I never knew Whitehead, nor anything about his aircraft. All I did was watch him fly." The longest flight he remembered witnessing was "about a quarter of a mile." and "other flights were made that day, some longer and some shorter." He couldn't recall how many. Distance measured how? This occurred when? Sixty three years ago. Were these powered flights, or towed glider flights? We will never know. Thirteen down. John Havery: "Stated positively that he saw Whitehead at least ten feet in the air and that he travelled several hundred feet." Distance measured how? Nothing about a control system or motor. Was this a powered flight attempt, or a towed glider? Fourteen down.

And the Winner is...

Mrs. Koteles: "No he didn't fly." "He only went up a short ways and then came right down. He didn't fly." "...it was nothing at all." Fifteen down. Anton Puckner: Total bunk, but plenty of conflicting information, but this alone is enough: "I flew in this machine... The machine kept on steadily in crossing the wind at a height of about 200 feet, when it came into my mind to try steering around in a circle. As soon as I turned the rudder and drove one propeller faster than the other the machine turned a bend and flew north with the wind." Really? It came into "my mind to try steering." As soon as anyone "drove one propeller faster than the other" the machine would have immediately turned upside down." What rubbish. Sixteen down.

First Things First - Focus on Whitehead/Weisskopf

To Ms. O'Dwyer-Brinchman and Ms. Cummings - it seems to me that the very first thing to do is to provide your best evidence (in summary form - highlights) that Gustave Whitehead/Gustav Weisskopf ever got off the ground (did he manage to make even uncontrolled hops ?) in a powered heavier-than-air machine.
After that hurdle has been lept, the next thing to do would be to demonstrate that GW had the means to control his machine, should he have wished to - i.e., what were the means of controlling his machine in roll, pitch and yaw (body weight shifting only, as he said ?)?
After that has been done to the best of your abilities and knowledge, then assemble evidence that he progressed in developing his machines.
Do that and I'll be interested... all else is simply blather.

Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight provides all evidence needed

Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight does provide all that you claim you need, and more. You have just shown, Mr. Gray, that one of the above may apply:
A. You may not have actually read Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight , or at least, read it carefully.
B. You just can't admit the evidence is there, not after 15+ years of railing against Whitehead.
C. You do not understand what is in Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight .
D. You are are falsely reporting what is in Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight.
I do think that Huffington Post does not realize your biases. Or do they?
As a matter of fact, your main comment about Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight has been, "I don't believe it" in addition to "I already knew it". That means you think the powered flight witnesses were all lying (all 18 who saw him fly before the Wrights - or all 27 who saw him fly through 1911?, their relatives and descendants are lying, and the local newspapers were all lying (all three of them?) ... and the many Whitehead researchers were all lying (at least 15 of them). That is utterly ridiculous. However, you must believe that the Wrights, who wanted to control world aviation and said that business was like war were not lying (even though I prove over and over they did lie, repeatedly, in my book, Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight). You believe their associates who helped them stomp out the illustrious competition weren't lying, and the Smithsonian curators weren't and aren't lying (though their proclivity to making up history and denying the contract existed has also been proven, in History by Contract and in a growing number of other publications through to this date). I am sorry to say that in nearly every case of reviewing your many websites, they seem to be the repository of unsupported theories, supporting the Wrights, and decrying the Whitehead claim. As an experienced educator I can state this illustrates why people should take great care in believing what they read on the Internet, including and especially on Wikipedia (where, alarmingly, you and a small group of supporters have long edited the Whitehead page for in an administrative sort of manner that I believe shows bias against Whitehead, the Talk pages behind it illustrate this nicely) and on personal websites. I have yet to ever read what your background is in terms of qualifications, such as education and work history, though I thought I read once you took some art classes. While it is nice that you collect aviation photographs and were on the board of a small aviation-related magazine, as well as its editor for a short while, I do not see that as qualifying you to become the interpreter of aviation history for the masses in the 21st century. Please inform me how you qualify and include what you did for a (paid) living and please describe your education. Mine is on my website, www.gustavewhitehead.info and on Amazon.com where my book, "Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight" is offered. I am a highly experienced, successful teacher, with longtime experience (52 years) in the midst of the very carefully conducted Whitehead research. I do not speak from a theoretical point of view, tapping away at my keyboard in Encino, as you do, never having even been where Whitehead flew or where his archives lay. I lived there and met and heard the witnesses, a number of them, and met the researchers, interacting with them closely, for years. They were all honest, highly reputable, often well-educated, good people, as are their descendants. Not liars, Mr. Gray. And I do my homework on my topics, I do not spew blather, as you put so rudely. That is saved for unsupported theories, or the lies of biased historians who must support a legal contract. I am sorry to say that your statements are often not supported and cannot, as a result, be trusted.

All the Proof Required

This vile post demonstrates the character of its author. Personal attacks and claims of conspiracy and false charges populate this scatter-brained diatribe. The book "Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight" contains all one needs to understand the Whitehead hoax. How it began, who was involved, how the "witness statements" were obtained as well as the integrity and scholarship of those involved. The newspaper articles cited contain enough information to demonstrate their validity and the preparation of, and selective use of portions of the witness statements, their contradictions, lack of accuracy, credibility and specificity, clearly show the futility of the effort. It is just a giant collection of self contradictory, garbled and unconvincing evidence that amounts to nothing more than an elaborate hoax. One does not have to claim one lied to be wrong. Believing that the witnesses are attempting to tell the truth is adequate. Their statements alone suffice. Her comments about calling the witnesses liars is just another example of the author's false straw men. The book does not prove that the Wrights lied, but it does demonstrate the bias of the author and her inadequacy as a researcher. Comments like how Wright associates "helped them stomp out the illustrious competition" are not only untrue, but amazingly so. What associates? When? What "illustrious competition"? This is insanity. The attacks on Mr. Gray are equally base. Rather than respond to his sincere questions, she attacks him personally, just as she attacks the Wright brothers and the Smithsonian, and Gibbs-Smith, and Judges Hand and Hazel, and Griffith Brewer, and William Hammer, and Amos Root, and Stanley Beach, and 39 of the world's leading aviation history experts, and Dr. Crouch and NAHA... what a disgrace. Blather is too kind a word to describe this evil, venom is more appropriate. The Smithsonian-Wright agreement exists because of such corruption. Let it shine forever as a beacon to remind us that we must ever be vigilant against those who dare do injustice to the truth.

That post is very confusing

Dave E. (do I have that right?): if you would use names it would be helpful. It seems you are mashing together everything said by numbers of people. This post is extremely confusing. I was referring to Mr. G's website, which is full of misinformation about Whitehead, the witnesses, and the researchers. Perhaps you have not seen that, or if you have, do not understand how wrong the information is therein, presented as if it was factual, but really constitutes conjecture and opinion. I would like to know what Mr. Gray's education and work history is, since he is setting himself up to be considered an expert, I believe that is a very fair question. There is a lack of this on the Internet. We are always warned about this type of thing - do not trust Internet sources, just because someone has one or more websites does not make them an expert, nor the information accurate. My background is available, I have made my qualifications well known. What is disgraceful are the lies coming out of the Smithsonian and their Contract with the Wrights to SELL first flight credit to Orville Wright, a person who failed to make ANY successful flights in 1903, by his own admission and that of the Wrights, their experts, attorneys and the court. I am sorry you are unaware of this, and it is a national disgrace that first flight credit in our national history has been purchased, traded for the Wright Flyer. Also, in my book I prove that the people who designed the Contract and the label were the same ones working for 9 years to discredit Whitehead so Orville could be happy. The Contract is directly connected to Whitehead and making it impossible, finally, to recognize him. I like your word. Disgraceful! I don't blame you for believing the "blather" coming out of the Smithsonian and repeated by others claiming to be "experts" about these points in early aviation history. After all, we are far too trusting of "experts", not taking into consideration their motivations. Perhaps you should read "Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight". It sounds like you have not! The documents used to support each and every statement of fact are irrefutable and quite shocking. It accurately turns everything you thought you knew about aviation history and first flight credit on its ear.

The Real Source of Confusion IMHO

Susan, In my opinion, your book is 400 pages of excuses, more excuses, conspiracy theories, scapegoating, hearsay, incomplete information and misinformation topped with a heaping helping of hopeless anti-Wright bias. All of this, in my view, makes it fit only for the darkest corners of the fiction section. Your entire book and its myriad of overly complex and outlandish claims could have been completely avoided by providing one shred of real evidence for a Whitehead flight that isn't utterly dependent on hearsay or conspiracy theories - evidence I have repeatedly asked you to present. Of course, I believe you cannot do this because no such evidence exists. Your attempts to twist the statements of those who attest to Whitehead's failures, twist the purpose of the Wright-Smithsonian agreement and place blame for Whitehead's repeated and obvious failures on the Smithsonian and the Wrights defies description. Again - since you can provide no real evidence for a Whitehead flight, and since you can provide no real evidence of the Wrights failures, your blather about credentials is worthless and your efforts at character assassination and conspiracies will fail - as they should.

Forest Not Seen Because Of All The Trees

My sense is that your proximity to and familiarity with Bridgeport and Fairfield, and your own ties to the Whitehead story in the past with your father and involvement for what has been probably the greatest percentage of your life, leaves your view of all this skewed and distorted.
I have never once (prove me wrong, if you can) called the group of Whitehead/Weiskopf "witnesses" liars. Certain individuals and Gus Whitehead/Weisskopf clearly have problems with truth, but aside from a very few instances, I do not think people have told lies they know to be lies. Not everyone who questions the "eyewitnesses" believes them to be "liars" - and in the case of Elizabeth Koteles she was doing all she could to tell her story only to have that story distorted and mangled, not by "Whitehead critics" but by Whitehead advocate.

Your background, Mr. Gray?

Well, what is your background that would allow anyone to believe you? Education, work history?

One Qualification

Ms. O'Dwyer-Brinchman, I posted one of my qualifications here, four days ago, and apparently you've missed it.
I take pride in having accurate and fairly stated factual material on my sites, so I will repeat a request I have made to you many times (to which you have not responded)... tell me precisely (not some broad vague indictment, but specific, detailed items) what you find wrong or false on my site(s), and provide your countervailing evidence, and I will honestly and fairly examine what you have to say. If I agree what I have posted is wrong or false, I will correct it.
It is not important to me, that anyone "believe me"... I state my opinions as opinions so readers can differentiate my opinions from the facts I present, after all, the facts, evidence and cogent and reasoned analysis are what matter.
As someone who has spent years in the classroom teaching, I respect and credit your long experience as an educator, but that experience does not, per se, qualify you to research, examine and present facts or to be an authority on the Whitehead story. It qualifies you to teach.
One nice outcome of all this back and forth would be for some reasoned dialogue to take place, some give and take, some "you are correct and I am wrong" where appropriate, devoid of nastiness and personal assaults and name-calling and suspicion and "gotcha" and innuendo and all the other examples of ill-will and hostility that have swamped this site.
I am hopeful this might happen, but as my niece says, "I'm not holding my breath."
With that, I am done.

Missing The Point

Ms. O'Dwyer-Brinchman, my suggestion to you (and Ms. Cummings, and any other supporters of the Whitehead claims) was to drop the anti-Orville Wright diatribe, drop the anti-Wilbur Wright diatribe, drop the anti-Smithsonian diatribe, drop the attacks and concentrate on offering your best evidence, in a tidy manner, as to why you believe Gustave Whitehead/Gustav Weisskopf flew in 1901 or 1902 or ever.
Attack me all you wish to, I am not trying to win your favor, or that of Ms. Cummings, that is inconsequential. What matters is that the claims made for and by Gustave Whitehead/Gustav Weisskopf be either proven or disproven. You have chosen to attempt to prove them. I have chosen to do my best to disprove them, factually.
As you know, I was one of the first purchasers of your book, and multiple copies, including one signed by you. I not only have read your book, carefully, but I have re-read sections of it.
If you read my Huffington Post article on the interview(s) your father and Harvey Lippincott and others conducted in 1974 with Elizabeth Koteles, you will, in all good conscience agree that the interview was mangled and words put in her statement that she did not say. You also will realize that the results of that interview were manipulated to force the result your father and others wanted.
In your book (pp 212-213) you soft pedal those significant problems and make use of the apparently fabricated results of that interview. You also do not mention in your book that the questionable interview was videotaped - all you state (p 421) of that is that her interview was "taped interviews, transcripts" - you do not say "videotaped" you say "taped" and mention in the body of your text that E. Koteles' grandson, Steven Link, "taped" (presumably audiotaped) an interview with her in 1965, NOT that your father's interviews were videotaped. This is a very serious omission, as it raises the specter that you are intentionally failing to mention that at least one of the 1974 interviews was videotaped.
Where is that videotape ?
Have you seen it ?
Do you have a copy of it ?
Why is it not public ?
Your book is as interesting for what it ignores, suppresses and sidesteps as it is for what it presents. I've found the same is true of "History By Contract."

CORRECTION

In my main post, above, "... is that her interview was 'taped interviews, transcripts'" ought to read "... is that her interview(s) were 'taped interviews, transcripts'"

Huffington Post

As for my articles on The Huffington Post, you and Ms. Cummings and anyone else are free to post comments, critical, negative, questioning, or positive. As I have told Ms. Cummings - repeatedly - I do not flag comments and encourage honest dialogue and disagreement.

Memo to Dennis Moore

Please take note the continuation of the anti-Wright hatred spawned by Albert Zahm.

Advancing Your Case ?

Ms. Cummings, I suspect I've read more, learned more and understood more about these matters than you have, and I say that not to be sarcastic, as you often are, but based on the multiple absurdities you're stated and the pile of mis-characterized quotes and irrelevancies you've dropped in these "Comments." Your attitude would be funny if it weren't spreading your venom about Orville Wright. You seem to see all this as a form of gladiatorial combat rather than a collegial pursuit of historical truth among people who have serious disagreements as to facts and circumstances, which is why so few people will ever be swayed by your arguments (you, the messenger, overwhelm your message)... and does spreading all this anger and hostility towards Orville Wright advance your case for Glenn Curtiss ?... or for Whitehead/Weisskopf ?... no, it does not, not a millimeter.

Gray is Confused

Mr. Gray, It's obvious you haven't read the whole Daniels interview. If you had, you couldn't possibly make the statement that Daniels is describing the events of the 14th. Of course, your statement is another ruse the Wright historians use to get around the fact that the Wrights tried to take off on the 17th as well as the 14th using the gravity of the hill. You can continue to believe the absurdity they told everyone that they took off from level ground, but it shows your inability to look at at the facts and to analyze them without your Wright bias. Let's not forget that witness Etheridge agreed with Daniels' statements.

What a load!

The W. O Saunders interview is absurd and silly. It is full of errors and is not a record of anything. To believe this interview is accurate it to believe the Wright flyer had one wheel, most airplanes have two wheels, the Wrights used copper piano wire.

Cummings is Confused

Let us also not forget that Etheridge was one of the witnesses who identified the location of the first flight near the Wright camp on level ground. Let us also not forget that Daniels claimed credit for the photo repeatedly, and neither Daniels, Etheridge or any other witness ever claimed that it, or any of the other Dec 17, 1903 photos, was inaccurate. As mentioned below, let us also not forget that Daniels noted that the Flyer was moved "to the hill" and "to the foot of big hill" - not up it. I will also point out that in your beloved Collier's article, Daniels states that the Wrights packed up the 1903 Flyer and left only "a few pieces" as souvenirs. Meanwhile, you claim that the wings were given to Etheridge, stating "what more is there?". I must thank you - your arguments are beautifully revealing the pitfalls of relying completely on hearsay. Cummings, Do you have bias? Do you have a personal stake in this debate? We have already shown numerous times that you can't even support your own arguments. You refuse to answer related questions, provide real evidence or admit that you are wrong. Again, there is absolutely no reason to take anything you say seriously. I don't know about everyone else, but as I have explained, I debate you because I enjoy this topic and because your nonsensical ramblings reveal in great detail the true absurdity of anti-Wright arguments. Your unsupportable, invented and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories attempting to explain the photos are a riot. You can continue to believe the absurdity that they took off from the hill on Dec 17, but the evidence is against you and your stance shows your inability to look at at the facts and to analyze them without your anti-Wright bias.

Love is Blind, Too

NC Pilot, You have never stated the date and source of the Chanute statement wherein he stated he trusted the Wrights' integrity. Obviously, it was before his falling out with them when he said they were blinded with their greed for money.

Another false claim by Cummings

Anyone who has actually studied the Wright brothers record is familiar with this quote as well as all the other similar comments, especially those made during the 1906 -1908 period when the Wrights were marketing their inventions. Your attacks on the truthfulness of the Wrights is a complete non-starter. There was no "falling out" with Chanute. They exchanged a few pointed letters on their difference of opinion and airing some long-standing irritations. The frankness of this exchange as well as the maturity demonstrated in their resolution are a remarkable lesson in true friendship. Thankfully for Chanute, it quickly ended on a graceful note, for he was in serious distress as a result of poor health and died shortly thereafter.

Re Daniels Interview

NC pilot , you are scrambling to correct your own witnesses? You say their statements are full of errors? According to whom? Were you there? As in the case of nearly all the witnesses of the Wright activities, their statements contradict the history the Wrights wrote for you to believe. You can choose to believe what they said, but that's all you have to go on. Neither Wright brother was provably honest or honorable regardless of what Wright historians say. No serious historian would put stock in their details over those of their witnesses.

Errors, the truth and shame in the guise of blind hatred

The interview is full of errors. Two obvious ones I pointed out are the statements about wheels and wires. Anyone who know anything about the Wright aircraft know these statements are just plain wrong. The facts contract the statements. This interview is untrustworthy, period. Whether it is the fault of the interviewer or Mr. Daniels does not matter. The integrity and honesty of the Wrights is unassailable. The record here is perfectly clear. Quoting Octave Chanute on the Wrights: "From somewhat intimate acquaintance I can say that in addition to their great mechanical abilities I have ever found the Wright Brothers trustworthy. They tell the exact truth and are conscientious, so that I credit fully any statement which they make." The EXACT truth. Your statement on "witnesses of Wright activities" is demonstrably false. There are literally tens of thousands of witnesses to Wright activities. What an insipid statement. Your obvious hatred, bias and shame blinds you from the truth.

Daniels Interview

This interview is full of errors. Whether the confusion was Daniel's memory after twenty four years or a simple error on the part of the author, or a combination of both is a matter of conjecture. There is no doubt that Daniels was there on December 14th and 17th. While the interview is useful for the flavor or color that Mr. Daniels had to offer, the multitude of obvious errors, as well as the long period of time that had passed since the events occurred obviates its usefulness as a historical record. While much of what the interviewer writes has elements of truth, much of it is speculative and jocular. Technical details such as the wheels and the wires are obviously incorrect. The most that can be said about this article is that it provides a flavor of Mr. Daniels perspective on Wilbur and Orville. No serious historian would put stock in its third-hand details. The oft repeated quote "It's just like yesterday to me" is obvious hyperbole. It was long, long ago, far too long ago for actual recollection of a story that Mr. Daniels had told over and over and over.

The Wrights Told Him He Took the Picture

Collier's weekly interview of John Daniels, September 17, 1927: "It's just like yesterday to me," said Captain Daniels. "The Wrights got their machine out of its shed that morning, and we helped them roll it up to the top of the highest hill, on a monorail. That first plane had only one wheel to roll on, not like the planes now that have two wheels. It couldn't stand up without somebody supporting it at each end, and I had hold of one of the wings on one end." Daniels had to be supporting the wing on the left side of the plane because Wilbur is shown in the picture on the right side, and it's said he was supporting the right wing. The camera was on the right side of the plane, not the left. Daniels didn't have time to take the picture as your article says. It was a matter of seconds. What is your 1943 source, Airman? In the 1927 Collier's interview, Daniels never mentions taking a picture, but this same interview is used over and again by Wright historians to describe the first "flights"--including David McCullough. They just leave out the key points they don't want people to know--like the take offs from the hill and Daniels supporting the wing. Some historians invent that Daniels confused the December 14 attempt with the December 17 attempt, but Daniels is clear that there were at least two attempts from the hill that day. (There was only one attempt on the 14th.)

Wrong Again

The Daniels quote was part of an article he wrote which appeared in various newspapers on the 40th anniversary of the first flight. In this same article he states that on Dec 17, 1903 the machine was moved "to the hill", not up it. In the letter posted on your website, Daniels also states, "I snapped the first Picture of a Plain that ever flew". Here you have two instances of Daniels claiming credit for the photo - yet you claim he did not... were you there? Please post the exact quote stating that the Wrights told Daniels he took the photo, and where it can be found. Daniels was also identified as the life-saver manning one of the Flyer's wingtips on Dec 14, 1903 during the hill launch attempt. I am currently working to track down the source of this statement. Historians use solid and supported evidence, and in this case common sense and simple deduction - they do not invent ridiculous conspiracy theories.

No Confusion

In the section you quoted Daniels is describing the event of the 14th, not confusing the 14th with the 17th, he is only speaking of the 14th with Wilbur aboard. He is mistaken that the track was taken to "the top of the highest hill" as photographic evidence shows the track placed near the bottom of the hill rather than the top. Daniels didn't take a photo on the 14th, only on the 17th.

Memo To Ms. Cummings

Which is more important to you, attacking Orville Wright, or defending Glenn H. Curtiss ? Whitehead seems to run a distant third in your view.

Re Whitehead Proof

Senior Aviator, You and everyone need to watch "My Million Dollar Idea" on the Smithsonian channel. You need to study the life of an inventor who was not so fortunate as to make great amounts of money on his idea, borrowed money from investors, put his family through destitution, and ended up in debtor's prison. His name is Charles Goodyear, the inventor of vulcanized rubber. This brilliant inventor didn't cash in on his discoveries--it was later companies that did. The Wrights were able to continue with their experiments because the French forfeited 25,000 to them when they decided to bail out of a deal. You're not telling the truth when you don't tell the whole truth. Inventors run in my family, so I know that what you are trying to say about them is not always true. Glenn Curtiss made a great fortune, but it was because he was a genius at business as well as invention. Probably one of the reasons your Wrights hated him so much. Curtiss is said to have had 500 patentable inventions when he died at 52. (on "My Million Dollar Invention.") Orville had 9 (nine) that he shared with other inventors when he died at 77. The last was definitely a stolen idea. But Orville's greatest achievement (?) was the uncountable number of inventors like Whitehead or Curtiss he discredited in order to perpetuate his own myth .I suppose you are back on this forum because you, like Orville, are the best spinmeister against Gustave Whitehead, Glenn Curtiss, John Montgomery, and Albert Zahm and the best spinmeister pro Wright. You outdo everyone, I'll give you that. By the way, you are wrong about Dr. Zahm's opinion of Gustave Whitehead.

Glenn Curtiss, Orville Wright Some Points to Consider

As you claim a relationship to Glenn Curtiss, I will be gentle in my comments, hopefully to nudge you to reconsider some of your unsubstantiated comments. You know perfectly well why Orville despised Glenn Curtiss. A French syndicate forfeited 25,000 francs which allowed them to continue to market their invention to governments in a effort to avoid prolonged and expensive patent suits. The Wrights had absolutely no desire to enter the business of aircraft manufacturing, exhibitions, sales and training. Curtiss made and squandered a great fortune, something of no interest to the Wrights. The Wrights could have issues dozens of patents on their discoveries, but the patent business is time-consuming and expensive. The Wrights patented as little as absolutely necessary. Orville properly responded to the false claims of Stella Randolph concerning Whitehead. He testified in a suit by Montgomery heirs against the US Government. I am not aware of his ever setting the record straight regarding the actions of Glenn Curtiss or Albert Zahm. Had he been the mean spirited individual you make him out to be, he certainly had good cause to. The Wrights never sought a single penny from Glenn Curtiss. Not one cent, even though the Wright Company had a personal claim against him in addition to his company. In spite of the way Curtiss approached the patent matter, the Wrights were willing to settle with him when he reached out to them on a number of occasions. It does't give me any joy to recount the actions of Albert Zahm and Augustus Herring. Curtiss just made the mistake of associating with the wrong people. Orville was lost without his brother and life-partner. He did not care for the business and legal matters which Wilbur handled. He suffered terribly from his 1908 injuries at Fort Myer and was often unable even to attend to correspondence. He extracted himself from business and settled into a comfortable, if often painful retirement, passing up an endless parade of opportunities for self aggrandizement and profit. The Whitehead matter offended his sense of justice, just as did the reprehensible actions of the Smithsonian Institution. He testified for the Government in the Montgomery case, but never sought to publicly rebuke Curtiss, Herring or Zahm. He certainly had the standing and power to do so. He didn't.

Same Old Same Old

.This comment is directed to those out there who are able to think critically and who are not victims of the Wright "group think." Senior Aviator, Airman, and NC Pilot , whoever they all are, continue to make the same old vague accusations with few to no references or examples--even when they are answered.They accuse critics of "cherry picking" when that is precisely what they are doing. Senior Aviator is so non-specific that he tries to cover everything that is said in one big denouncement. Except added to the Wright "talking points" is this new, absolutely ridiculous statement: "The only aviators who didn't achieve great fame and wealth are those who could not fly." That is balderdash. Gustave Whitehead had witnesses who backed up what he said and actually published the witness statement of the flight in 1901. The Wright brothers have no witnesses, I repeat, "no witnesses" who back up what they said happened December 17, 1903. No wonder we attack the Wright brothers' myth. And yes, the Wright historians' absurd acceptance of the Wrights' mistatements invalidate nearly everything they say in repudiation to their critics. Concerning John Daniels' cherry picked statement, he did say he took the photograph--later, much later. He wasn't even given the picture until years later. But he also stated that he didn't remember taking the picture. He said essentially that if they said he took the picture, he must have! A nice guy who didn't want to contradict the Wrights. (Note that the "historians" leave that part out.) He also stated that he was supporting the wing of the plane December 17, 1903, at take off. (You don't read Wright historians mentioning that either.) He couldn't have supported the wing and taken the picture. Wright historians will do another scramble job to explain that to gullible people.

"They had set up their camera

"They had set up their camera and aimed it and asked me to snap it at the right time. When the airplane with Orville in it came over the track and flew up, I snapped it just right and got the whole plane in. It was the first picture I ever made in my life." - John Daniels, 1943.
Again I will point out that the witnesses never claimed that the photographic evidence showing a launch from level was inaccurate. I will again point out that three of the witnesses pinpointed the location of the first flight on level ground near the Wrights camp - and I will again point out that you fail to take into account how utterly absurd it would be for the Wrights to attempt to manufacture the witnesses memories of the event five years later with your conspiracy theories about faked photos, secret agendas and other such nonsense. Again, everything you claim about the first flight and witness statements is utterly dependent on adequately explaining the origins of the first flight photos - and as we have seen, the conspiracy theories you present are not only inadequate, but a fatal blow to all of your related arguments. I will also point out that you insulted the Wright witnesses by describing them as "uneducated" and suggesting that they were wrong about virtually everything, either because too much time had passed or because they were fed information. However, you do not apply this standard to Daniels' hill launch statement or the alleged Whitehead witnesses, the interviews of whom were conducted decades after the nonevent.

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