Top 10 Bungled Attempts at One-person Flight

Al-Djawhari (c. 1000)

­The first more or less reliable historical account of attempted flight happened around the year A.D. 1000 in Nisabur, A­rabia. The would-be aviator in question is al-Djawhari, the great Turkish scholar from Farab.

Sometime between the years 1002 and 1010 (several different accounts vary), al-Djawhari tied two pieces of wood to his arms and climbed the roof of a tall mosque in Nisabur. According to eyewitnesses, the scholar's bold move drew a large crowd, to whom he announced:

"O Pe­ople! No one has made this discovery before. Now I will fly before your very eyes. The most important thing on Earth is to fly to the skies. That I will do now."

That, unfortunately, he did not do. Al-Djawhari fell straight to the ground and was killed, stamping into history the first recorded attempt at human flight.

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