But this is still what I don't understand. Being first to fly was obviously a HUGE deal, with I'm sure many people desperately trying to accomplish this goal. This first claim was supposed to be in 1901. It was front page locally, and maybe a lot of other papers around the world reproduced the article, without anyone else actually witnessing it.
But it seems there were many skeptics at the time, and he didn't gain proper fame and acknowledgment for such a feat. Even if photos were hard to take back then, why not in the 2 years, 4 months before the Wright's documented flight, invite some more editors, journalists, scientists, or any other witnesses to see your plane in action at any other point in time? Why wait for the Wright brothers flight and then scream bloody murder? This second event would have given proper recognition, and no one could ever come in and take your credit as the first to fly.
Anybody can claim they did something once, witnessed by just a couple people. But to prove it, you have to reproduce it to a bunch of other people. And this never happened, as far is I can tell.
Maybe I'm wrong, but if you're the first in anything, and people doubt you, wouldn't you go out of your way to prove to all the skeptics that you are in fact the man? People claim to touch the top of a backboard, or run a 4.19 40 yard dash, but can you actually prove it to a bunch of people?
Just doesn't add up to me.