Saturday, February 16, 2008

Was the hang glider invented in my native town?

For a blogger such as me, who's struck with vertigo as soon as he climbs up onto a chair [an act that literally brought about the accidental death of my 93-year-old grandfather Ernest Skyvington on Australia Day 1985, when he climbed onto a swivel chair to change a lightbulb in his Gold Coast apartment], it's pretentious to get involved in discussions about hang gliding. But that's my own fault. I brought up the question of Grafton's possible role in the history of hang gliders back in 2002, when nobody in my native town in northern New South Wales was aware of the relevance of such a subject. You'll find my account of things in my article of October 16, 2007 entitled Grafton in aeronautical history books [display].

I'm returning to this subject today in order to point out that a US reader named Joe Faust contests my facts. He certainly gives the impression that he masters the subject. Consequently, instead of adding unnecessarily my two cents worth of naive sentiments on this interesting debate, I recommend that you consult directly the lengthy and detailed comments of Joe Faust, at the end of the above-mentioned blog article. You can then acquire further information, if you so desire, by following up this subject with the help of Google. It goes without saying that Joe Faust and others are free to make use of my blog as a convenient forum for the pursuit of this debate... at least insofar as it concerns, say, the Grafton context.

Surprisingly, apart from my email acquaintance Graeme Henderson (the New Zealand fellow who delved deeply into the role of Grafton's John Dickenson in this context), I have the sad impression that few local folk have been interested in this historical question.

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