Smithsonian conspiracy to deny Whitehead flew first now provable

Smithsonian conspiracy to deny Whitehead flew first now provable

Who flew first? Order the new book “Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight” to find out!

Smithsonian conspiracy to deny Whitehead flew first

(from www.gustavewhitehead.info)

March 21, 2014

A Smithsonian conspiracy to deny Whitehead flew first – ahead of the Wrights – is now provable. A never-before-known, direct connection between denying Whitehead flew first and the designing of the “Contract” (1) (2) with Smithsonian, including the label on the Wright Flyer has been “unearthed”. This is a game-changer that establishes exactly how Whitehead’s claim was deliberately, secretly, and effectively denied, all these years. It involves plotting behind the scenes, by Smithsonian curators and influential friends of Orville Wright, to provide Orville permanent credit that he did not deserve, without regard for historical facts. It worked for 70 years.

From 1935 through 1937, Stella Randolph, Whitehead’s first researcher and original biographer, wrote a series of articles and a book about Gustave Whitehead’s flights, which predated those of the Wright brothers. Her writings received national attention, to the dismay of Orville Wright and his supporters.

Following the death of Wilbur Wright in 1912, Orville, previously considered “the lesser brother”, worked unceasingly to establish his role in first flight. Until the date of Wilbur’s death, it was Wilbur who’d been credited with being first, established in the publication of the World Almanac of 1911. Orville’s flights of December 17, 1903 had been openly admitted as failures, by both brothers. Whitehead had been ignored, as the data and article had been put together by a secret, subrosa employee of the Wrights, Thomas Edison’s former right-hand engineer, William J. Hammer. Hammer was hired by Wilbur Wright to promote the brothers as first in flight, amongst other duties. Hammer would go on to perjure himself as an independent expert during the Wright patent trials, where the World Almanac article was entered as evidence that the Wright brothers deserved “pioneer inventors” status. In the popular mind and the media, following Hammer’s PR campaigns that began in 1906, and with the support of the New York aero clubs, the Wrights were seen as “first in flight”.

Once Randolph began to publicize the earlier flights of Whitehead, friends of the Wrights organized to stamp out the claims wherever they appeared. They began to use their considerable influence to attempt to stop the Whitehead information from getting out the public, as if it was heresy. News of Whitehead’s credit was spreading like wildfire in Hollywood, in syndicated magazine articles nationwide, on a very popular coast-to-coast radio show, in ads on NYC subway cars, an article in the Reader’s Digest, and with a Harvard professor of transportation who called for a Congressional hearing on the topic. Friends of Orville felt these had to be controlled.

Major Lester D. Gardner and Earl Nelson Findley, two of the most influential Wright supporters, openly discussed their mutual campaign to credit Orville and wipe out Whitehead’s claim in letters that they wrote, back and forth, from 1939-1946. Both Gardner and Findley were widely recognized in aeronautical circles of the era, particularly for their close relationships with Orville Wright. Major Lester D. Gardner was the former publisher of the journal Aviation and Aeronautical Engineering in 1916, and founder of the Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences (IAS), located in New York City, in 1932. Its first honorary fellow was Orville Wright. Earl Findley was the first editor of US Air Services magazine. Findley formerly was a reporter and editor for the New York Times who became very close to the Wright brothers and the Wright family, for the rest of his life.

In 1939, Major Lester D. Gardner and Earl Findley orchestrated and co-produced the so-called “Stanley Yale Beach Whitehead Statement“, which denounced Whitehead could ever have flown (mentioned in the book “History by Contract” by O’Dwyer and Randolph).

Stanley Yale Beach, former Aviation Editor and supporter of Whitehead flights through 1908, is influenced to write a negative statement on GW in 1939, and he writes Major Lester Gardner to ask him to "cut out anything he doesn't like" in the Beach statement that Gardner and Findley solicited. The draft is heavily edited by three individuals, one is Gardner, the other, Findley. Letters back and forth clearly show this.

Stanley Yale Beach, former Aviation Editor and supporter of Whitehead flights through 1908, is influenced to write a negative statement on GW in 1939, and he writes Major Lester Gardner to ask him to “cut out anything he doesn’t like” in the Beach statement that Gardner and Findley solicited. The draft is heavily edited by three individuals, one is Gardner, the other, Findley. Letters back and forth clearly show this.

The heavily edited Beach statement drafts looked like this (pages 1 & 2 of 6):

Beach Whitehead Statement Draft 1 (p. 1 of 6) with heavy edits including Gardner's.

Beach Whitehead Statement Draft 1 (p. 1 of 6) with heavy edits including Gardner’s.

 

Beach Whitehead Statement Draft 1 (p. 2 of 6) with heavy edits including Gardner's.

Beach Whitehead Statement Draft 1 (p. 2 of 6) with heavy edits including Gardner’s.

Major Lester Gardner (LDF) wrote Earl Findley on April 11, 1939, after he’d received the final draft. He said, “I have just received the statement from Stanley Beach…If you knew him you would know what a job it was to pry this out of him. I could not edit it as I would have wished, but you could do so by omissions in any article you write.” Then Gardner proceeds to express concern that Stella Randolph, in her book “Lost Flights of Gustave Whitehead” (1937) talked about an early visit to Whitehead’s shop from the Wright brothers. He wants Findley to look into it. Also, Gardner mentions Randolph used a Wright quote in her 1935 Popular Aviation article, without a citation, “Man will never fly in a thousand years” and asks Findley to read it. Gardner and Findley have become a “tag-team” to defend Orville’s desired position as first in flight and attack Whitehead researcher Randolph and supporters. They will continue this through 1948 culminating in the legal contract requiring Orville to receive that credit, to the exclusion of Whitehead, their nemesis, and all others.

Gardner writes Findley about the final Beach statement, revealing how to best use it and that he couldn't edit it fully as he wished, but Findley can.

Gardner writes Findley about the final Beach statement, revealing how to best use it and that he couldn’t edit it fully as he wished, but Findley can.

Both Gardner and Findley became recipients of a piece of cloth from the Wright Flyer as a token of esteem afterward(perhaps, thanks for their dogged support) from Orville.

The unpublished and unsigned Beach statement was then deliberately provided to Orville Wright, influencing him to use it as the basis for his “The Mythical Whitehead Flight” article of 1945 (below), published in Findley’s US Air Services magazine. Orville’s negative Whitehead article, denying Whitehead or his plane could ever have flown is still the “playbook” for denying Whitehead, used by Smithsonian curators through the present date.

Just a few years later, Gardner and Findley, who vowed to salvage Orville’s title and to destroy Whitehead’s claims, have now been revealed as key consultants, invited by the Smithsonian curator, Paul Garber (3), to design the final details of the “Smithsonian-Wright Agreement of 1948″ (aka “the Contract”), following Orville’s death in January, 1948. This direct connection to the creators of the denouncement of Whitehead and their subsequent influence on “the Contract” was never before known, outside of the inner circles in Smithsonian, where the documents are kept. Others who worked on the label included Wright family members, Orville’s longtime secretary, Mabel Beck (with whom he is said to have had a longterm affair), and the Smithsonian curator, Paul Garber, described as “very loyal to Orville”. The Wright Flyer label was designed by highly biased individuals based on what they felt Orville would have wanted, and what would secure credit for the first flight. No historical investigation was conducted to make the label accurate. This is clear from the correspondence and transcripts included in the Smithsonian archives concerning the planning of the Contract.

This is the required wording for the Wright Flyer* exhibit that resulted from the biased group’s efforts, which attempts to “cement” the credit for first flight for Orville, who had just died earlier that year.

“The Original Wright Brothers’ Aeroplane

The World’s First Power-Driven Heavier-than-Air Machine

In Which Man Made Free, Controlled, and

Sustained Flight

Invented and Built by Wilbur and Orville Wright

Flown by Them at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

December 17, 1903

By Original Scientific Research the Wright Brothers Discovered The Principles of Human Flight”

[and]

“The first flight lasted only twelve seconds, a flight very modest compared with that of birds, but it was nevertheless the first in the history of the world in which a machine carrying a man had raised itself by its own power into the air in free flight, had sailed forward on a level course without reduction of speed, and had finally landed without being wrecked. The second and third flights were a little longer, and the fourth lasted 59 seconds covering a distance of 852 feet over the ground against a 20 mile wind.

Wilbur and Orville Wright
(From Century Magazine**, Vol. 76 September 1908, p. 649)”
Author’s Notes:
* A link to the Wright Flyer Wikipedia page is cited
**Orville and his sister Katherine wrote the Century Magazine article without Wilbur, crediting Orville, when Wilbur was out of the country for an extended period. By the time Wilbur returned, it had been published. Orville credited himself, rather than Wilbur, then, and later, as first in flight. This is a matter of record, per the correspondences concerning this article, located at the LOC in the Papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright.

The Smithsonian-Wright Agreement of 1948, allowed Smithsonian to obtain the Wright Flyer for $1 from the Orville Wright estate. It also allowed Orville Wright heirs significant estate tax benefits. The agreement, often referred to as “the Contract”, essentially requires Smithsonian and all its affiliates, to recognize the Wright Flyer as the first airplane that flew with power, and Orville Wright as the first successful aviator. Required labels on the exhibit and required placement in the Smithsonian are included. If the Contract is broken, the Wright Flyer, the most popular exhibit at the Smithsonian, returns to the heirs. The Contract, originally kept secret from the public, was learned of and obtained by Major William J. O’Dwyer (USAF, ret.), with the help of then-Senator Lowell Weicker, Jr., in 1976. [More on “the Contract” here. Photocopy (pdf) of the “Smithsonian-Wright Agreement of 1948″ on Fox News’ site (Fox News, Apr.1, 2013)]

The communications between Gardner and Findley concerning Whitehead’s claim as first in flight were very clear – they wanted to stamp out that claim and worked on this for 11 years following the publication of Stella Randolph’s book. They were in a position to do so, behind the scenes. Letters received and sent between Gardner, Findley, Beach, and Orville Wright, amongst others, are located at the Library of Congress, in their Gustave Whitehead collection, and the Earl Findley and Lester Gardner sections of the Papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright archives. Interestingly, and obviously by design, none of these appear on the public listing online, but they are there. Who at the LOC decided that these should be hidden from the public?

Their efforts worked, too, quite effectively, for the past (nearly) seven decades. Exposing the Gardner – Findley involvement in the development of Smithsonian-Wright Agreement of 1948 “the Contract” exposes “the agreement” with Smithsonian for what it was – a means to deny Whitehead a claim on first flight. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM) curators and Wright supporters cannot continue to maintain that it was developed solely to fend off old Smithsonian claims that its former Secretary, Samuel P. Langley, built “the first plane capable of flight”, which had so angered Orville in 1928.

Below is a letter sent in August from Smithsonian’s Assistant Secretary, naming Gardner and Findley as parties to the ongoing process to determine the wording of the Wright Flyer exhibit labels, which continued through Sept. and Oct. of 1948. Additional documents obtained include transcripts of conversations and letters between the principal parties.

S.Conspiracy.letter1

 

 

Letter confirming Lester Gardner's involvement with development of Wright Flyer labels.

Letter confirming Lester Gardner’s involvement with development of Wright Flyer labels (part a).

….. (letter continues to end):

Letter confirming Gardner participation (part b).

Letter confirming Gardner participation (part b).

 

Lester Gardner replies to Graff that he will see Mr. Miller (co-executor of OW estate) on Tues. and if the changes [to the labels] are satisfactory to him and Ms. Beck [OW secretary] he will be glad to agree with them.

Lester Gardner replies to a letter from Smithsonian Asst. Secretary Graf that he will see Mr. Miller (co-executor of OW estate) on Tues. and if the changes [to the labels] are satisfactory to him and Ms. Beck [OW secretary] he will be glad to agree with them.

Earl N. Findley describes some of his meetings re: the label, below, in a transcribed discussion with Paul Garber of the Smithsonian. Findley tries to downplay his importance within the group in determining the Wright Flyer label.

Transcript of talk between Findley and Paul Garber, heading.

Transcript of talk between Findley and Paul Garber, heading.

 

Paul Garber reminds Findley he is participating in the label process to represent Orville Wright.

Paul Garber reminds Findley he is participating in the label process to represent Orville Wright.

Paul Garber, key founder and a first curator of the Smithsonian National Air Museum (1946) reminds Findley he is there to represent Orville Wright, due to his close relationship. It is very important to note that Findley had sent Orville a telegram on July 14, 1945, three years before, where he asks Orville to help him “dynamite” the Whitehead claim that appeared in the Reader’s Digest of July, 1945.

This is the “offending” Reader’s Digest article:

This Reader's Digest column entitled "Firsts" mentions Gustave Whitehead claims recently covered in a coast-to-coast radio show featuring Whitehead's son, Charles. Findley became upset and worked with Orville to correct this "problem". Later, Findley ridiculed the Readers Digest editors and even mentioned trying to get them to retract the statements.

Originally published in “Liberty Magazine”, this Reader’s Digest column entitled “Firsts” mentions Gustave Whitehead claims recently covered in a coast-to-coast radio show featuring Whitehead’s son, Charles. Findley became upset and worked with Orville to correct this “problem”. Later, Findley ridiculed the Readers Digest editors and even mentioned trying to get them to retract the statements.

Earl Findley writes his good friend Orville Wright about the July 1945 Reader's Digest article giving credit to Whitehead for first flight. Findley wishes to "dynamite" it. Asks OW to help use "facts" which Findley and Gardner had supplied him with in the so-called Stanley Yale Beach Whitehead Statement that Findley and Gardner had edited heavily.

Earl Findley writes his good friend Orville Wright about the July 1945 Reader’s Digest article giving credit to Whitehead for first flight. Findley wishes to “dynamite” it. Asks OW to help use “facts” which Findley and Gardner had supplied him with in the so-called Stanley Yale Beach Whitehead Statement that Findley and Gardner had edited heavily.

 

What evolved out of that suggestion was Orville’s inaccurate attack on Whitehead, “The Mythical Whitehead Flight” article published in Findley’s magazine in August, 1945:

Orville Wright's heavily biased, misleading article, "Mythical Whitehead Flight", part of scheme to discredit Whitehead, orchestrated by Findley and Gardner 1939-1945.

Orville Wright’s heavily biased, misleading article, “Mythical Whitehead Flight”, part of scheme to discredit Whitehead, orchestrated by Findley and Gardner 1939-1945.

Earl Findley, in a letter to Orville on November 30, 1945, describes Whitehead supporters including Dr. Albert Zahm, very unpleasantly, as follows: “Zahm is still not the only ——- in the woodpile, but several snakes in the bull-rushes as well” [see below]. Findley further lambasts Zahm, who has been improperly blamed for the Wbitehead claims, by telling him that the new Librarian of Congress wishes to find a younger man to take the place of Zahm…, then stating, “They couldn’t get a worse man than Zahm, even if they offered a reward of a million dollars for him. There isn’t any.”

Findley writes Orville crudely criticizing Dr. Albert Zahm of the LOC, who has been unfairly blamed for the Whitehead claims. Censored for 2014 audience.

Findley writes Orville crudely criticizing Dr. Albert Zahm of the LOC, who has been unfairly blamed for the Whitehead claims. Censored for 2014 audience.

Dr. Albert Zahm, professor of physics, was a highly esteemed national authority on early aviation, a chief of the Aeronautical Division of the U.S. Library of Congress, and a longtime critic of the Wrights, who’d published a treatise called “Early Powerplane Fathers” in 1945 that came close to crediting Whitehead for pre-Wright flights. Dr. Zahm wrote in May, 1944, ” It is technically possible, humanly very credible, that in 1902, Whitehead flew with petrol power.” Earl N. Findley was not only very angry at all the Whitehead supporters, including Dr. Zahm, but spent a decade trying to destroy the Whitehead claim to first flight and exact retractions. When he got his chance to develop a label that would forevermore credit Orville for first flight, it was the culmination of those efforts.

These are the missing links that shows “the Contract”, with the required Wright Flyer’s misleading label was directly aimed at denying Whitehead a chance for recognition as “first in flight”, having been developed by his foremost attackers within a small, heavily biased group. The above is only a small part of what is available at the Library of Congress and Smithsonian showing decades of collusion resulting in false credit for Orville Wright and the reasons why Whitehead never received credit nor even a fair evaluation from the Smithsonian.

1. More on “the Contract” here. Photocopy (pdf) of the “Smithsonian-Wright Agreement of 1948″ on Fox News’ site (Fox News, Apr.1, 2013)]

2. Visit www.historybycontract.org for more information on the Smithsonian-Wright Agreement of 1948.

3. Transcript of Conversation between Mr. Findley and Mr. Garber, September 15, 1948 (NASM, Smithsonian)

4. Wrong With Wright: Smithsonian Under Fire For Wright Brothers Contract (Jonathan Turley, April 2, 2013)

This full article may be freely shared and posted under “fair use”, as long as it is complete and credited to Susan O’Dwyer Brinchman.

For media inquiries, contact gwfirstinflight (at) gmail (dot) com

© Susan Brinchman 2014

FOIA Submitted for Smithsonian-Wright Contract Documents

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Who flew first? Order the new book “Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight” to find out!

On October 31, 2013, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was sent to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM)‘s Head Curator Tom Crouch, to obtain documents pertaining to the Smithsonian Wright Agreement of 1948, whereby Smithsonian obtained the Wright Flyer for $1 and the Orville Wright heirs were allowed a significant estate tax benefit.

Head curator Tom Crouch who is from the Wrights' hometown of Dayton OH is one reason Whitehead can't get a fair evaluation.

Head Curator Tom Crouch , native of the Wrights’ hometown of Dayton OH, received the FOIA request. The Wright Flyer, obtained with the Contract in 1948, is pictured behind him.

 

The agreement, often referred to as “the Contract”, essentially requires Smithsonian and all its affiliates, to recognize the Wright Flyer as the first airplane that flew with power, and Orville Wright as the first successful aviator. If the Contract is broken, the Wright Flyer, the most popular exhibit at the Smithsonian, returns to the heirs. The Contract, originally kept secret from the public, was learned of and obtained by Major William J. O’Dwyer (USAF, ret.), with the help of then-Senator Lowell Weiker, Jr., in 1976.

This FOIA was submitted by a resident of Connecticut.

FOIA Smithsonian Wright Contract p. 1

FOIA Smithsonian Wright Contract p. 2

FOIA Smithsonian page 1

FOIA Smithsonian page 1

Smithsonian FOIA page 2

FOIA Smithsonian page 2

Gustave Whitehead Position Statement Oct. 12, 2013

Who flew first? Order the new book “Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight” to find out!

Compelling Evidence

The preponderance of the evidence makes it clear that Gustave Whitehead made a significant number of successful powered flights in Connecticut that predated the Wrights by at least two years. The evidence includes an eye-witness journalist account, journalists who were eye-witnesses to photos of Whitehead in powered flight, and close to a score of affidavits and statements from eye-witnesses to the powered flights. This evidence was all part of the record, up through 1974, obtained by researchers Stella Randolph and Major William J. O’Dwyer (USAF, ret.), summarized in their book “History by Contract” (1978). Further research by Major William J. O’Dwyer (USAF, ret.) revealed more facts about Whitehead, up through 2008, some of which was written up in articles such as “The Who Flew First Debate” and which resides in O’Dwyer’s research, housed at the Gustav Weisskopf Museum in Leutershausen, Germany and the Fairfield Museum, Fairfield, CT. Recently, John Brown, an Australian noted as an expert on roadable aircraft, became became aware of Whitehead, studied the research of O’Dwyer and Randolph (the only existing body of research to date) and summarized its contents for the media and “Jane’s All the World Aircraft”. Brown also located a number of additional articles disseminated worldwide through the Associated Press on Whitehead, which added to the 50 key articles located by O’Dwyer. This body of evidence is compelling, which is leading to an increased number of authorities recognizing Whitehead as “first in flight” in a new generation. Brown thought he’d found a “missing photo” of Whitehead in flight, which was widely carried in the media for months, but it does not appear to be so at this writing. O’Dwyer had studied the wall of photos twenty years ago, that Brown studied in 2012,  and could not determine which photo the Scientific American referred to when it reported in 1906 that a blurred photo of Whitehead in flight was seen on the wall of an Aero Club exhibition. Despite the lack of a photo, there is solid evidence, deriving from the work of O’Dwyer and Randolph, that Gustave Whitehead should hold the title, worldwide, of “first in flight” and should receive additional recognition for a plethora of inventions that have been incorporated into aircraft up through the present date.

Gustave Whitehead First in Powered Flight 1901

Gustave Whitehead
First in Powered Flight 1901

gustaveworking_large

Gustave Whitehead with “Condor”, the plane that flew in 1901.

Smithsonian Blocks Recognition for a Century

The Smithsonian Institution has done everything possible for the past hundred twelve years to avoid giving Whitehead recognition – first, so it could claim that its Secretary Langley should receive credit, and then, dropping that stance, it gave improper credit to Orville Wright in a legal maneuver, in order to gain the Wright Flyer as an exhibit for $1, in 1948. As admitting that Whitehead flew first is impossible for its staff, or they will lose the Wright Flyer, their premiere exhibit, which will return to Orville’s heirs, per the contract, Smithsonian has continued to ignore Whitehead’s accomplishments. Further, if Whitehead was known to fly first, this would undermine the broad terms of the “pioneer invention” patents obtained by the Wrights based on being first-in-flight, though no longer in force.

"History by Contract" (O'Dwyer and Randolph) (1978)

“History by Contract” by O’Dwyer and Randolph (1978) proves avoidance and attacks by Smithsonian, publicly documents Contract with Wright heirs, for the first time.

State of CT Recognition of Whitehead is Appropriate

Since the denial of Whitehead’s accomplishments by Smithsonian has existed for 112 years, the CT State Legislature and Governor has very appropriately, on a number of occasions over the past 60 years, recognized Whitehead’s early flights and his importance as an early aviation pioneer. A photo is not needed with all the evidence amassed by O’Dwyer and Randolph.

grseal

CT State Seal

State of Ct Flag

CT State Flag

Photo Demands

Unreasonably, Smithsonian demands a photo of Whitehead in flight. If this were necessary, the famed photo of the Wright Flyer raised 18″ in the air would not qualify, because it barely got off the ground in the photo, traveled only a hundred feet afterwards, out of control, and smashed into the sand. Smithsonian demands documentation, even though the documentation that exists for the Wrights does not include eye-witness affidavits, nor any concrete information except for diary entries and other documents written by the Wrights themselves.

No Missing Photo Found

With regards to the missing photos of Whitehead in flight that were known to exist, these appear to have been lost or destroyed over the past century. However, the William Hammer collection of photos, displayed at the First Annual Aero Club Exhibition of Aeronautical Apparatus of January 1906, included a photo of Whitehead’s plane in flight, according to the Scientific American: “A single blurred photograph of a large birdlike machine propelled by compressed air, and which was constructed by Whitehead in 1901, was the only other photograph besides that of Langley’s machines [note: Langley models] of a motor-driven aeroplane in successful flight” (Scientific American, Jan. 27, 1906). The wall with the Whitehead photos was labeled “Collection of Pictures Presented by William J. Hammer”.

Despite worldwide media coverage related to the purported “finding” of the missing photo of Whitehead in flight in 2013 by John Brown, Australian roadable aircraft expert living in Germany several hours away from the Weisskopf museum, it has not been definitively located.  This website author, Susan O’Dwyer Brinchman, studied Whitehead for thirty years as a co-researcher with her father, Major O’Dwyer, and is familiar with the Whitehead flying machines. It is her opinion that the claimed finding of a photo by Mr. John Brown references one which appears to match a Montgomery aircraft, and does not resemble Whitehead’s plane, despite claims to the contrary.

1906_Aero-Club-Exhibition-in-New-York-1

Aero Club of America Exhibition Jan 1906
Hundreds of William J. Hammer photos displayed. Whitehead’s 1901 plane in flight reported to be on the wall by Scientific American.

 

Likely Location of Photo: Smithsonian

For decades, the original photo of Whitehead in flight displayed in that exhibit has been sought after, to no avail. It is more than likely that the photograph of Whitehead’s plane in flight was part of the William J. Hammer collection of aviation photographs locked away at the National Air and Space Museum, for three decades, following its donation to Smithsonian in 1962 by IBM.

Head curator Tom Crouch who is from the Wrights' hometown of Dayton OH is one reason Whitehead can't get a fair evaluation.

Smithsonian NASM’s head curator, Tom Crouch, from the Wrights’ hometown of Dayton, OH, is one reason Whitehead can’t get a fair evaluation.

Smithsonian Attacks

The Smithsonian Institution has grossly abdicated its responsibilities by ignoring the Whitehead evidence, engaging instead in a century of attacking and ridiculing Whitehead, then his researchers, and the nearly 20 eye-witnesses to his flights, and likely hiding the very photo evidence they demand as proof.

smithsonian

Smithsonian has a problem with its integrity, which is called “The Smithsonian-Wright Agreement of 1948”.

Audit Demanded

We demand an independent audit and search of Smithsonian to determine the location of that photograph and its culpability in misleading the American public by unprofessionally offering historical recognition ‘for sale’ on its premises, to the exclusion of those who truly deserve it, defending this as appropriate.

Whitehead Recognition Deserved

There is ample evidence that Whitehead was first in powered flight, ahead of the Wrights. There is ample evidence that Whitehead contributed to the body of knowledge that led to further development of the art by subsequent inventors such as the Wrights. Whitehead and his descendents deserve his recognition.

Conclusion

The American public deserves historical accuracy, integrity and professionalism in its historical institutions. The state of CT deserves to honor its aviation pioneer without attacks and ridicule. Whitehead clearly predated the Wrights, it is time to recognize that fact.

“An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self sustained. “ (Ghandi)

 

Whitehead's # 21: "The Condor", First in Flight 1901

Whitehead’s # 21: “The Condor”, First in Flight 1901

Susan O’Dwyer Brinchman
Whitehead researcher, 30 years; educator 32 years; M. Ed
La Mesa, CA
To contact the author, email gwfirstinflight (at) gmail.com

Letter of Demand to Nullify Smithsonian-Wright Contractual Agreement

Who flew first? Order the new book “Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight” to find out!

A link to this letter with contract attached is available here for download as a Word or PDF document. I encourage everyone to sign and send in to those who oversee the Smithsonian, according to the laws of the United States.

These are:

Smithsonian Chancellor and Chief Justice of the United States Roberts, Vice President Joe Biden, and the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian, CC: Washington Post Editor and your local media.

On August 31, 2013, the CT Post ran this op-ed concerning the Smithsonian Contract becoming a potential subject of an audit by the US GAO. Contact your members of Congress to request this GAO audit.

“First in flight” still up in the air

“First in flight” still up in the air The former head of the federal General Accounting Office said he would like to see the GAO take a look at the so-called “agreement” between the Wright family and the Smithsonian, seen by many as a linchpin… (read article here)

News article about this Letter of Demand: Smithsonian asked to nullify Wright Brothers first in flight …

—————————————————————————–

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

TO THE SMITHSONIAN CHANCELLOR JUSTICE JOHN G. ROBERTS, JR.

TO THE SMITHSONIAN BOARD OF REGENTS,

TO ALL MEMBERS OF CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

On behalf of world educators, students and those who love history, taxpayers of the United States of America, the general public, and all those who seek accuracy in history and desire integrity in our government funded agencies …

  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian Institution (heretofore referred to as “Smithsonian”) is administrated by the United States of America
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian is comprised of 19 museums, 9 research centers, multiple research programs, 13 facilities conducting museum research including the National Air and Space Museum, and 177 Smithsonian affiliate museums in 41 states, Puerto Rico and Panama[1]  [2]  [3]
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian’s mission is “the increase and diffusion of knowledge”
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian’s vision is to preserve our heritage, “discovering NEW knowledge, and sharing [its] resources with the world”
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian declares that it shall carry out ALL [its] work with integrity
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian declares that it shall carry out ALL [its] work with the greatest responsibility
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian declares that it shall carry out ALL [its] work with accountability
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down values in its Strategic Plan that include discovery of new knowledge
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down values in its Strategic Plan that include creativity, instilling its work with imagination and innovation
  1.  WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down values in its Strategic Plan that include excellence in [its] endeavors
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down values in its Strategic Plan that include respect for diversity and richness in differences
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down values in its Strategic Plan that include striving for organizational excellence
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down values in its Strategic Plan that include service to the public and stakeholders
  1.  WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down Priorities in its Strategic Plan that include broadening access
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down Priorities in its Strategic Plan that include strengthening collections
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down Priorities in its Strategic Plan that include organizational excellence
  1. WHEREAS Smithsonian has stated in its Strategic Plan that “A Smithsonian that can effectively respond to challenges and grasp opportunities will thrive in the 21st century as a source of pride to Americans and a fount of knowledge and inspiration to the world. “[4]
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian is governed by a Board of Regents with 17 members that include the Chief Justice of the United States and the Vice President of the United States; six Congressional members; and nine members of the general public[5]

The members of the Board of Regents are:

  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian has, as its Chancellor, the Chief Justice of the United States, John G. Roberts Jr.
  1. INSOFAR as the Smithsonian has signed an Agreement with the co-executors of the Orville Wright Estate in November 23, 1948, [heretofore to be referred to as “the Contract”] in order to acquire and retain “the Wright Aeroplane of 1903” [popularly known as “the Wright Flyer”], that sells the “the Wright Aeroplane of 1903” to the United States of America for $1 subject to the terms of a “Contract”[6]
  1. INSOFAR as the Smithsonian has signed “the Contract” requiring special placement of the “the Wright Aeroplane of 1903”
  1. INSOFAR as the Smithsonian has signed “the Contract” which provides for restrictive recognition of the Wright Brothers as inventors and builders of “the World’s First Power-Driven Heavier-than-Air Machine in Which Man Made Free, Controlled and Sustained Flight”
  1. INSOFAR as the Smithsonian has signed “the Contract” which requires a statement to that effect be placed on the label for “the Wright Aeroplane of 1903”; which statement provides credit to Orville Wright as the first man “in the history of the world to fly in free flight, sailing forth without reduction of speed, landing without wreckage”;
  1. INSOFAR as the Smithsonian has signed “the Contract” which forbids the Smithsonian Institution or its successors nor any museum or other agency, bureau or facilities administered for the United States of America by the Smithsonian Institution or its successors, [to] publish or permit to be displayed a statement or label in connection with or in respect of any aircraft model or design of earlier date than the Wright Aeroplane of 1903, claiming in effect that such aircraft was capable of carrying a man under its own power in controlled flight”.[7]
  1. INSOFAR as the executive heads of all federal government departments and agencies have received a memorandum, under the “the Open Government Initiative”[8], signed by President Obama on January 21, 2009,  that includes the following:

“My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

Government should be transparent.  Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing.  Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public.” (Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, Jan. 21, 2009)

  1. INSOFAR as the executive heads of all federal government departments and agencies have received a directive, under the “the Open Government Directive”, issued December 8, 2009, to take specific actions to “publish government information online, improve the quality of government information, create and institutionalize a culture of open government” [9]
  1. I HEREBY REQUEST that the Smithsonian Institution immediately and permanently prominently post on its website a certified, true and complete scanned copy of the aforementioned signed “Contract” between the United States Government (Smithsonian Institution) and the co-executors of the Estate of Orville Wright of November 23, 1948, concerning the acquisition of the Wright Aeroplane of 1903
  1. I HEREBY SUBMIT that “the Contract” signed by the Smithsonian and the co-executors of the Wright Estate, with it specific terms and requirements pertaining to the purchased acquisition and retention of the ” Wright Aeroplane of  1903″ for Smithsonian, signed November 23, 1948, creates bias and stifles inquiry, interferes with the Mission, Values and Strategic Plan of the Smithsonian Institution, the work of its employees, and all its affiliates.
  1.  I HEREBY SUBMIT that “the Contract” signed by the Smithsonian and the co-executors of the Wright Estate, with it specific terms and requirements pertaining to the purchased acquisition and retention of the  Wright Aeroplane of  1903 for Smithsonian, signed November 23, 1948 be immediately stricken down and nullified, and that ownership of the Wright Aeroplane of 1903 be renegotiated with appropriate legal remedies, in accordance with the Mission, Values and Strategic Plan of the Smithsonian Institution, or returned to the heirs of Orville Wright.
  1. I HEREBY REQUEST a Congressional investigation of the implications and results of Smithsonian’s Secretary having signed such a “Contract”, as well as the conduct and biases of the employees of Smithsonian Institution, including but not limited to those pertaining to crediting early aviation history and pioneers, particularly those who may have been first-to-fly, or made significant contributions to developing flight..
  1. I HEREBY REQUEST appropriate direction from Congress, the Board of Regents and Chancellor of the Smithsonian for Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum (NASM) and its related affiliates to apply and put into practice Mission, Values and Strategic Plan of the Smithsonian Institution.
  1. I HEREBY REQUEST for additional independent monitoring and feedback regarding NASM and the Smithsonian in these areas by independent stakeholder members of the public who will report publicly at least yearly, to Congress and the American people.
  1. I HEREBY REQUEST appropriate directives from Congress, the Board of Regents and Chancellor of the Smithsonian, to prevent any future or current Contractual Agreements, terms of purchases, loans, or donations from limiting inquiry and dissemination of knowledge, or any additional portions of the Mission, Values and Strategic Plan or bylaws of the Smithsonian Institution.

 

Sign this Letter of Demand (LOD) too and send it to those Governing the Smithsonian http://www.si.edu/Governance/Members with a cover letter if possible, addressed to Chancellor Chief Justice John G Roberts, Jr., and the Board of Regents, including Vice President Joseph Biden, contact info located at http://www.si.edu/Governance/Contact

 

PLEASE POST ON YOUR FB PAGE, TO YOUR EMAIL LIST, AND SHARE WIDELY

(Signatories below and attached)

 

1. Signatory: Date: _____________

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(printed name)

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(signature)

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(address)

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(city, state, zip)

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(country)

____________________________________

(email address)

 

2. Signatory: Date: _____________

____________________________________

(printed name)

____________________________________

(signature)

____________________________________

(address)

____________________________________

(city, state, zip)

____________________________________

(country)

____________________________________

(email address)


[1] https://affiliations.si.edu/DetailPage.Asp?MenuID=32

[2] http://www.si.edu/ResearchCenters

[3] http://www.si.edu/ResearchCenters/Museum-Research

[4] http://www.si.edu/About/Mission

Our Mission: The increase and diffusion of knowledge; Our Vision: Shaping the future by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world ; Our Values: Discovery: Explore and bring to light new knowledge and ideas, and better ways of doing business; Creativity: Instill our work with imagination and innovation;Excellence: Deliver the highest-quality products and services in all endeavors; Diversity: Capitalize on the richness inherent in differences

Integrity: Carry out all our work with the greatest responsibility and accountability

Service: Be of benefit to the public and our stakeholders; Our Priorities: Four Grand Challenges: Focus on the four grand challenges outlined in the Smithsonian Strategic Plan; Broadening Access: Digitizing our collections, exploring next-generation technologies and improving the visitor experience, Revitalizing Education: Serve as a laboratory to create models and methods of innovative informal education and link them to formal education system, Crossing Boundaries: Establish interdisciplinary consortia around each of the four grand challenges, Strengthening Collections: Develop collections plan to support Institution-wide initiatives, Organizational Excellence: Strengthen organizational services that allow us to deliver on our mission, Measuring Performance: Establish performance indicators that will specifically and annually measure progress toward our goals.

 

[5] http://www.si.edu/Governance/Members

[6] http://www.gustave-whitehead.com/history-of-whitehead-critics/contract-signed-1948-11-23-by-smithsonian-and-wright-heirs/

[7] Agreement signed November 23, 1948 between the Wright Estate (signed by co-executors Harold S. Miller and Harold W. Steeper) and United States of America, (signed by the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Alexander Wetmore) in order to acquire the Wright Aeroplane of 1903. http://newsdesk.si.edu/sites/default/files/Wright-Contract.pdf

[8] http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/TransparencyandOpenGovernment/

[9] http://www.whitehouse.gov/open/documents/open-government-directive