Bridgeport, CT. – August 29, 1906

Bridgeport, Connecticut – August 29, 1906


Newark Evening Star & Newark Advertiser
June 10, 1911

     On August 29, 1906, aeronaut Fred L. Owens of Haverhill, Massachusetts, was giving a balloon/parachute performance at the Southport carnival.  His act included a triple parachute drop.  The first chute opened without mishap, and when he cut away from it, the second also opened as it should, but when he attempted to deploy the third chute it failed to open, and he plummeted  1,100 feet into an elm tree.  The tree miraculously broke his fall and saved his life, but he was knocked unconscious from the fall.  Owens was taken to Bridgeport Hospital where doctors were amazed to discover that no bones were broken.   Owens recovered from his ordeal and went on to become a well-known and successful aeronaut.   

     This wasn’t the only close call Mr. Owens experienced.  In August of 1913, while performing before 2,000 people at the University of Florida fairgrounds in Ocala, Florida, Owens fell 100 feet from his balloon and came down in a pine tree.  According to the Ocala Banner, he “arose calmly, lit a cigarette, and declared he was not hurt.”  


     The Old Town Enterprise, (Old Town, Me.), “Aeronaut Takes Tumble”, September 1, 1906, page 2

     Ocala Banner, “Ocala Looses To Gainsville”, August 8, 1913

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