An exchange between two HAM radio operators began our search for the story behind a shiny piece of material.
A HAM radio operator who now lives in Beverly Hills, Florida made contact with another radio hobbyist in Baltimore, Maryland. The second man said he was a NASA engineer and pioneered some early space projects. Before signing off, he promised to send a memento of their conversation.
Some time later our Florida contributor received a three inch-square of metallic fabric, one half covered in a mysterious pink powder, along with a hand-drawn diagram. Piecing together information from the radio exchange and notes on the diagram, our contributor believes this could be a piece of an early space satellite.
History Detectives host Tukufu Zuberi consults with experts at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, and visits the Navy Lakehurst Historical Society in New Jersey to see whether this swatch of reflective material ever orbited the earth.
- Also in Vietnam Era: 1960-1980 Beatles Autographs Are these genuine Beatles signatures?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Dempsey Fight Bell Is this the bell that sat ringside at the world's first boxing superstar's legendary match?
- Related Investigation Car Tape Deck Is this an example of the first ever commercially produced car tape player?
- Related Investigation Mankato Spoon What does this delicate silver spoon have to do with the largest mass execution in American history?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Florida Map How did this faded map help unlock the riches of the New World?
- Also in Season 8 Chicago Clock What role did this clock play in keeping 19th century America running on time?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.