PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – John Schalcosky’s Facebook page, The Odd, Mysterious & Fascinating History of Pittsburgh, has gained over 27,000 “likes” in less than a year.

His fascinating stories and videos have been shared by thousands. Now, he says he discovered something that would change history books forever.

Schalcosky joined “The KDKA Morning News” with Larry Richert and says he has proof that Pittsburgh is the real birthplace of aviation.

“As most everyone knows the Wright brothers were the first to man a controlled flight, which flew Dec. 17, 1903, in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. What if I told you that four years before that in 1899, a 25-year-old inventor named Gustave Whitehead, flew in Oakland.”

He said the story of Whitehead isn’t new, but now he can now prove it.

Schalcosky says that Whitehead flew something called a “monoplane” and that he, “invented a type of two-chamber steam motor that he was able to strap onto the back of his airship.”

He says they took off near Bates Street in Oakland and that Whitehead and his co-pilot, “went up about 23 to 30 feet in the air and [flew] for over a quarter-mile.”

Schalcosky says the plane didn’t have any type of steering and crashed into the third story of an apartment building in Oakland and that it was “widely reported” in newspapers. He also says there are fire records from the crash that prove Whitehead flew in Pittsburgh in 1899.

Schalcosky adds he is surprised no one was able to discover the information earlier.

There is evidence that Whitehead flew an aircraft in August of 1901 in Connecticut.

“Currently in the [Connecticut] State House, there is a law they are trying to pass [to claim] that Connecticut is first in flight,” Schalcosky said. “Pittsburgh’s first in flight, there’s no doubt about it with all the evidence we have.”

He says that “technology, the advancement of newspaper archives and the availability of records,” have helped him find the proof no one has been able to find before.

To see Schalcosky’s page visit www.facebook.com/oddpittsburgh

Listen to “The KDKA Morning News” with Larry Richert and John Shumway weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.

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