Wellman, Walter

Wellman, Walter

(1858–1934) journalist, explorer, aeronaut; born in Mentor, Ohio. A journalist given to making sensational expeditions—in 1891 he erected a monument on Watling Island, or San Salvador, where he said Columbus had first landed—he made two failed attempts to reach the North Pole in an airship (1907, 1909). In 1910 he was one of a crew of six who set off in another large airship to try to cross the Atlantic; within hours, the dirigiblelike craft went down off Cape Hattaras, but it had broken existing world records for time and distance flown by any aircraft; while in flight, too, it had received the first wireless messages sent to an airship above water. He recounted his adventures in The Aerial Age (1911).
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