The daughter of FJ writer William O’Dwyer, Sue Brinchman, has taken up the cause of her father, i.e. to establish Whitehead as the first to fly and is demanding that the Smitshonian be forced to invalidate the above mentioned contract.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Smithsonian Requested to Nullify Wright Brothers First in Flight Contract
Bridgeport, Conn – March 27, 2013
The Wright Brothers have long been considered to be first in flight, that is until a world aviation authority stated otherwise recently. And now the focus is on the Smithsonian Institution, which disagrees. A letter of demand today is now released to the press, requesting action.
Jane’s All the World Aircraft’s editor Paul Jackson declared on March 8. 2013, that Wright Brothers were not first in flight and that the evidence provided by Historian John Brown (gustave-whitehead.com) is adequate proof of this correction of in aviation history.
Historian Brown’s research is based on the extensive investigation by the late Stella Randolph of Maryland, and William. J. O’Dwyer, of Connecticut, whose daughter and research assistant is today releasing a Letter of Demand (attached) to investigate and ultimately nullify the “secret” contract made between Smithsonian and Orville Wright’s executors.
The Contract, uncovered in 1976 by William J. O’Dwyer using a FOI, assisted by then-CT Senator Lowell Weicker, essentially requires that, in order to receive the Smithsonian’s top exhibit, the popularly named airplane “the Wright Flyer” for $1, the Smithsonian and all its affiliates (about 200 at this writing) must credit the Wrights as first-to-fly, and if they don’t, the plane will be returned to the Wright heirs.
The Letter of Demand is not based on the question of who flew first, but that the contract interferes with Smithsonian’s objective evaluation of history, in direct opposition with its mission, values and strategic plan to discover history and share it.
It is the opinion of many, including the late William J. O’Dwyer and Susan Brinchman, that the Contract has been a roadblock to evaluating early aviation efforts and crediting strong contenders for first-to-fly, despite Smithsonian officials’ claims to the contrary.
Note: full Wright Brothers Smithsonian contract
The below is the letter of demand with room for signatures for those who would like to contact their representatives to force a change in the Wright/Smithsonian contract.
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 …
- WHEREAS the Smithsonian Institution (heretofore referred to as “Smithsonian”) is administrated by the United States of America
- 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
- WHEREAS the Smithsonian’s mission is “the increase and diffusion of knowledge”
- WHEREAS the Smithsonian’s vision is to preserve our heritage, “discovering NEW knowledge, and sharing [its] resources with the world”
- WHEREAS the Smithsonian declares that it shall carry out ALL [its] work with integrity
- WHEREAS the Smithsonian declares that it shall carry out ALL [its] work with the greatest responsibility
- WHEREAS the Smithsonian declares that it shall carry out ALL [its] work with accountability
- WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down values in its Strategic Plan that include discovery of new knowledge
- WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down values in its Strategic Plan that include creativity, instilling its work with imagination and innovation
- WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down values in its Strategic Plan that include excellence in [its] endeavors
- WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down values in its Strategic Plan that include respect for diversity and richness in differences
- WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down values in its Strategic Plan that include striving for organizational excellence
- WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down values in its Strategic Plan that include service to the public and stakeholders
- WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down Priorities in its Strategic Plan that include broadening access
- WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down Priorities in its Strategic Plan that include strengthening collections
- WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down Priorities in its Strategic Plan that include organizational excellence
- 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. “
- 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
The members of the Board of Regents are:
• Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
• Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
• Senator Thad Cochran
• Senator Patrick J. Leahy
• Senator Jack Reed
• Representative Xavier Becerra
• Representative Tom Cole
• Representative Sam Johnson
• Barbara Barrett (Arizona)
• Steve M. Case (Virginia)
• France Córdova (New Mexico), Chair
• Shirley Ann Jackson (New York)
• Robert P. Kogod (Washington, DC)
• John W. McCarter Jr. (Illinois), Vice Chair
• David M. Rubenstein (Maryland)
• Roger W. Sant (Washington, DC)
• Patricia Q. Stonesifer (State of Washington)
• Chart of Appointed Terms
- WHEREAS the Smithsonian has, as its Chancellor, the Chief Justice of the United States, John G. Roberts Jr.
- 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”
- INSOFAR as the Smithsonian has signed “the Contract” requiring special placement of the “the Wright Aeroplane of 1903”
- 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”
- 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”;
- 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”.
- INSOFAR as the executive heads of all federal government departments and agencies have received a memorandum, under the “the Open Government Initiative” , 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)
- 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”
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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..
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.Susan O’Dwyer Brinchman
PO Box 655
La Mesa, CA 91944-0655