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.
- Related Investigation Pretty Boy Floyd's Gun Did this vintage Colt handgun belong to the outlaw Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Newport U-Boat Did these propellers come from a WWII German submarine?
- Also in Season 8 George Washington Miniature Did the artist paint this portrait from life, and what is its surprising connection to the abolitionist White Matlack?
- Related Investigation Isleton Tong Was this building a safe haven for persecuted immigrants, or a hub for organized crime?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Mail Order Brides Are these images evidence of mail order brides in 1890s Chicago?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi The Disappearance of Glenn Miller In 1944, bandleader Glenn Miller boarded a plane for Paris and was never seen again. What happened?
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.