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The correspondence presented here, between the Burnelli Company
and the Smithsonian Institution is particularly interesting because
it shows several bureaucratic tactics for misleading and sidestepping
embarassing problems. What problems?
How the Smithsonian Distorts History:
a) By omission
No mention is made of Mr. Burnelli or any of his airplanes
in the "Smithonian Book of Flight" which is supposed
to be a comprehensive study of America's aeronautical heritage. Click here to download relevant 'Smithsonian Book of Flight' index page.
b) By presenting such a limited story that the reader is
led to make erroneous conclusions
When one of Mr. Burnelli's airplanes IS mentioned (as a photo
and a caption on a Smithsonian calendar) the caption is so misleading
that the reader has no choice but to conclude that Burnelli airplanes
Confronted with its distortions, Smithsonian responds:
1) By sidestepping the most embarrassing questions
For example, Dr. Von Meiss, former Technical Director for Swissair
wrote Mr. Larson, Editor of the Smithsonian Air & Space magazine
with several questions, Mr. Larson had Mr. Haggedorn "Reference
Team Leader" respond and his response omitted all the questions
but one and that one was really not answered.
2) By ignoring facts
See omission in "Smithsonian Book of Flight" as well
as the numerous letters which are but further evidence of the
bad faith of the Smithsonian.
3) By responding to mail with letters which don't address
any of the issues presented.
Any of Mr. Larson's letters are excellent examples of intellectual
dishonnesty and wild avoidance of the questions and the issue
at hand (he must be very fearful to lose his job).
4) By having others respond to mail
and gives the person responding an alibi for their voluntary
"ignorance" of the facts.
A) The policy of brainwashing / conversion at the Smithsonian
is best exemplified by Mr. George C. Larson.
Before working for the Smithsonian, George C. Larson had an article
published in Business and Commercial Aviation (March 1985, pg.
35) in which he wrote: "The first to touch on the concept
was Vincent Burnelli, who really aimed at the span-loader idea
with a "lifting body" fuselage shaped like an airfoil
intended to contribute to lift." After being employed by
the Smithsonian, Larson decided that Burnelli really hadn't invented
anything as is made clear in his letter of March 1, 1991 to Mr.
Richard Johnson, a retired Vought Aircraft Company design engineer.
Mr. Johnson promptly (March 6, 1991) shot Mr. Larson down in
flames in his illuminating response which is also very entertaining.
B) The symbiotic relationship between the Smithsonian and the Boeing Company.
After years of being ignored by the Smithsonian with regard to
Mr. Burnelli's exclusion from the Smithsonian Book of Flight,
the Larson behavior (see above) caused Mr. Goodlin to appeal
(November 22, 1994) to a member of the Smithsonian's Board of
Regents, Mr. Frank Shrontz, Chairman of the Boeing Company. Instead
of receiving an answer from the Smithsonian Regent, Mr. Frank
Shrontz, Mr. Goodlin was surprised to receive the response, from
Boeing's Vice President of Technology and Engineering, Robert
A. Davis dated December 21, 1994. Mr. Davis's letter was a masterpiece
of distortion which had no relevance to the Smithsonian's obligation
to uphold America's aeronautical heritage and Mr. Burnelli's
rightful place in it. The Davis letter was refuted by Mr. Goodlin
January 12, 1995. But there can be no doubt that the Davis letter
showed a symbiotic relationship between Boeing (industry) and
the Smithsonian (Government), a serious detriment to America's
C) The Smithsonian Exports Lies and Deception.
The Smithsonian doesn't limit its deceitful practices to the
United States, it gladly furthers lies and deception abroad as
is made clear by the correspondence with Dr. Von Meiss.