Note: this one was another composition that puzzled The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections. They couldn’t conclude if it was ‘serious or not’. When it comes to history, they don’t give a tush, so it’s understandable they can’t deduce what on earth am I writing here. Spo-fans, who are clever and well over four feet, can figure it out. They gave it a ‘go’ as they like the notion of throwing people out of windows. Spo

I am continually learning history in order to diminish ignorance and achieve apotheosis, or at least have clever things to say at cocktail parties.* The Fates (or someone like them) guide daily me towards fascinating historical tid-bits. Lately, the gods or the A.I.s at YouTube have led me to titillating tales of people flying or attempting to do so. So far, thems who have tried (willingly or no) have met with mixed results. 

This is an artist’s rendition
He was not there to witness it.

Eilmer (or Elmer or AEthelmaer or Oliver – the parchment is a bit schmeared) was a monk in the 11th century who attempted to fly, inspired not by Heaven, but by reading ‘The Myth of Icarus’. Considering how that tale ends**, one questions his judgment at duplicating the experiment. He made some wings and gave it a go. History doesn’t say where he did this, only that ‘he flew more than a furlong”, nor does it say if he had some cushions or something down below ‘just in case’.  Someone wrote:

‘Eilmer used a bird-like apparatus to glide downwards against the breeze. However, being unable to balance himself forward and backwards, as does a bird by slight movements of its wings, head and legs, he would have needed a large tail to maintain equilibrium. Eilmer could not have achieved true soaring flight, but he might have glided down safely with a tail. Eilmer said he had “forgotten to provide himself with a tail.” ‘

It is written E broke both legs and was quite hobbled thereafter. History doesn’t say how he felt about it all, or what else he did. Imagine going through life known only as the guy who jumped out of a window and crashed!  Eilmer lives on that an engineer (with a sense of humor)named a flying simulation code “Eilmer”.  

Oh the embarrassment !
There goes our good Henley Street name!

Another man of the cloth to have spread his arms to take off into the blue yonder fared a bit better. Joseph of Cupertino, a friar in the 1600s, frequently levitated and floated off while in religious ecstasy. Apparently he didn’t care for it, nor did his superiors. They kept locking him up and transferring him as an embarrassment . Even The Inquisition got involved, telling him politely to knock it off. Brother C. is reported to have gone on a strict keto-like diet and there were no further flights. After his death, he was made a saint. One wonders if Brother Eilmer would have been jealous. 

Another artist rendition.
Please don’t try this at home or in Prague if you should happen to be there.

On the secular side, there are ‘The two defenestrations of Prague’. Clever-dicks and straw-splitters will argue the fellows flying out the window weren’t attempting to fly exactly but were obliged to give it a try. The first set who went out the window did so in 1419; the re-try was performed in 1618. Spoilers! Neither set achieved flight. One would think the disappointing data would discourage further attempts of this sort of shenanigan, but according to Wikipedia, people continue to throw each other out of windows and off high parapets. I could not find any positive results. 

The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections requires me to put in a disclaimer: do not try this at home. Folks attempting to fly without an airplane around them are certain to fall and break things, including their dignity. Please stay grounded and avoid open windows, especially if there are others in the room with whom you have religious disagreements. 

Another warning: avoid Greek Myths, which got the whole thing going in the first place. 

* So far I only got one out of three, and that’s useless as I am not invited to cocktail parties anymore. Stirges.

** Badly.