In 1941, an American scientist by the name of Doctor James Walter Camp invented a special suit and helmet made for flying. He called the suit “Eagle 21”. This futuristic suit was made of a special light material, mainly silk and canvas. Furthermore, the suit was equipped with multiple power sources including a solar energy collection in the event recharging was unavailable. This flying suit was designed to withstand extreme temperatures and was bullet proof. Realizing that he was ahead of his time, Doctor Camp decided to keep his invention a secret. It is alleged that after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 he approached President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Secretary of War Henry Stimson and told him about his invention and his willingness to help win the war. This mission was recognized as “Top Secret” and thus deemed “classified”. Thousands of soldiers were equipped with this flying suit and were the main reason for Japan and German surrender. Since this was a covert mission, it has been omitted from history books.

One year after the war, there was a huge explosion and fire at the military base lab where Doctor Camp was working. Doctor Camp was severely injured and later passed away. The only item left after the fire was one flying suit locked in a fire proof safe. The safe was found in 1990 by Jeb East, the 14 year old teenage son of Lieutenant Colonel Albert East while visiting the base with his father. Jeb was unable to recreate the exact suit. However, nine years after this discovery, he created his own version of the flying suit. Other flying enthusiasts followed suit and created the sport of wingsuit flying which is the sport of flying wearing this special suit called the wingsuit.

Chantal Eshghipour