Thursday, November 24, 2016

Coming Post: The Wrights' Telegram to Father


"Truth in Aviation History"

  is announcing a soon to be published article:


"The Telegram to Father--Fact or Fiction?"


Our aviation history tells us that on the morning of December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, made four flights at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. These are claimed to be the first manned, heavier than air, sustained, controlled flights in history.

In the afternoon of that day, the Wrights tell us that they walked to the weather station at Kitty Hawk, where they could cable their father, Bishop Milton Wright, that they had successfully flown and that they would be home for Christmas. This famous telegram is displayed as evidence that the Wright brothers' claims are true. But is the story true?  Is the telegram real? The article to follow in the next blog post will address these questions head on --with reliable,  irrefutable evidence. In the meantime, here is an introduction.

An Introduction

It is frustrating when traditionalist Wright historians use their positions as scholars of aviation’s early days to smother legitimate questions about the Wright brothers' claims.

The contribution titled "The Telegram to Father--Fact or Fiction," about to be published in this blog, is different. It is not, as such, about the history of aviation, but about US cable telegraphy of the early 20th Century. The opinion of aviation historians of whatever status or caliber upon its content and conclusions is brought down to the same level — a level playing field, in fact. No position in aviation "historianship," or lifetime number of aviation books and articles written, bestows the authority to dismiss evidence on the subject of the telegraph.

Its contents are long and detailed because of the need to lay down an absolutely watertight defense against pontifical pronouncements from those whose interests lie in muddying those waters. But it is a fascinating story and, like the best detective tales, contains a surprising denouement in its closing paragraphs. 
Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes could do no better.

The author of this article, while acknowledging assistance from aviation specialists, wishes to remain anonymous for professional reasons.