10 Uplifting Inventions for Personal Flight

Helene Alberti - 1931
© Underwood & Underwood/Corbis

Former opera singer and burlesque dance, Madame Helene Alberti was another early pioneer of the wingsuit. She believed so much in the "greek cosmic law of motion" that she intended to open a flight school once she demonstrated her suit's success. Cosmic motion was supposedly based on principles conceived by Dr. Arthur A. Noyes. Alberti claimed human nerves acted like engines, with willpower as their ignition key. By rocking back and forth with wings on, cosmic motion would grant you flight. When Alberti first tested this theory just outside of Boston in 1929, the winds blew her around like a broken toy. She turned to a man in Concord, New Hampshire to help perfect her suit design and had a pupil try again... only to nose dive straight into the ground. There's actually filmed evidence.