Updating Mick Oakey’s article History or Hogwash? in TAH4, the "mystery photograph” LEFT, on which John Brown based much of his case for Whitehead having flown before the Wrights, appears entirely unrelated to Whitehead. It bears an inarguable resemblance to the photograph at RIGHT of John J. Montgomery ’s glider The California, taken on May 21, 1905, at San Jose Agricultural Park in California. This image appears to be from the same sequence, taken from a viewpoint a few feet further right, to judge by the positions of the treetrunks. Lots more on this at www.flyingmachines.org/gwinfo.
A detail from the image, with the massively enlarged photograph-within-a-photograph which, according to John Brown, depicts Whitehead’s aeroplane in flight in 1901. Brown offers an analysis of the picture on his website.
The photograph upon which John Brown has focused. It was taken at an Aero Club of America exhibition in New York in early 1906. On the wall below and beyond the suspended (and rather ragged) Lilienthal glider are several images which include, at far left, some recognisable photographs of Whitehead aircraft. Also of interest, although not directly relevant to this article, is the object at lower right: it is the crankshaft and flywheel from the engine of the original 1903 Wright Flyer.