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Notes from the owner/pilot of the original Moonshadow airship

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This page last updated on or about 10-13-07

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BACK to Me and my Moonshadow flying wing

Sorry, but I must be more circumspect with regards to Moonshadow admissions and acknowledgements than I am with Shadowfast.

Note that I must exercise caution in my admissions regarding many aspects of all this. Why? Read the accounts closely to fully understand! There's potentially far more legal liabilities involved with the Moonshadow accounts than there are with my Shadowfast tales (amazingly enough). Of course, part of the problem is the airship stuff isn't quite as old as the supercar info.

All that being said...

Yes, much of what you see in the stories had actual real world counterparts

Although I write a lot about maintaining secrecy in regards to the Moonshadow project during its existence and long after, in the years prior to that I did little to hide my flying ambitions from friends and family. So it wouldn't be that difficult to locate witnesses to my early directions.

I've also got lots more concept sketches for flying machines than I ever had for Shadowfast. Yes, the very best and most relevant and valuable drawings got taken from me. So what's left is sort of like Moonshadow's 'junk DNA'. Stuff which had little to do with the final product in most cases. Still, there might be something there worth posting. So I'll try to sort through them and post the best online as I get the chance.

Regarding details from The poor man's airship:

There were also 'bleed-over' indications of my exploits in areas far removed from such things as remote airship nesting sites-- like the paper trail of purchases of various items described in the accounts. And of course the wilderness 'safaris' I'd host in order to get some strong backs to help with the logistics of it all (if any of those fellows ever read this they might get steamed! ha, ha).

The breakthrough discovery of that archive of old Popular Science and Popular Mechanics magazines in a tiny town in North Carolina is true too. I still possess the ancient milk crates in which they were stacked. But as told in the accounts I did give the archives themselves away to a friend after I was done with them.

Did I truly work along-side a bunch of seamstresses in a North Carolina factory for a while? Yes. Did some of my relatives actually work in another factory producing synthetic fabrics suitable for airship construction? Yes. Did I truly gather up such materials at regional flea markets and yard sales when I came across them? Yes. Did I barter certain goods and services to aid in my quest? Yes.

Did I suffer the awful loss of such a massive investment too? Yes. Though as I write in the account, it was my own damn fault.

Folks, when you have it made, it can be extraordinarily easy to UN-make it. Agh!

Did I rig up my own unique designs of air compressor and other gadgets for my goals? Yes.

Did I truly use a weird blow gun contraption? Yes.

Did I actually hire my accomplished mechanic/bodywork man brother to fabricate stuff for my projects beyond Shadowfast? Yes. Heck, my brother is practically famous in these parts for such things: and that's without anyone at all knowing what he built for me!

Regarding details from Me and my Moonshadow flying wing:

Was I for a time a dedicated survivalist? Actually stockpiling supplies and armament for the possible aftermath of nuclear war decades back? Yes. Indeed, it's only been a few years now since I realized my six week supply of war foods specially canned to stay edible for 20 years or so had long ago expired, and hauled them out for the garbage man to take away! Ha, ha.

Did I pursue certain entrepreneurial endeavors back then that more prudent folk wouldn't dare? Yes.

Did I also resume pursuit of my engineering degree during those years? Yes. A pursuit which was interrupted a second time, much as described in the logs? Yes.

Regarding other events:

Did I actually spend time around folks working on a fuel-air explosive propulsion system, a la Great balls of fire? Yes.

In A ghost of a chance I suffer a grievous leg injury and have to make my way to help all on my own. Did such a thing truly happen to me? Yes. Somewhere I may have old medical records related to that-- maybe even showing I did NOT hurt myself on any official job of the time.

Was I once terrified by a US fighter jet zooming past me just a few meager yards away? Like that in Playing with fire? Yes. Did the pilot have any idea I was there? Nope! I sure don't think so. Just blinking at the right moment would have made it visually impossible for him to see me even that close up, at the speed he was traveling (it was sub-sonic though-- no boom followed him). To this day the real life incident I'm describing here remains the scariest moment of my life. Yes, even scarier than the moments described in my supercar accounts.

Being in the vicinity of a desolate mountain top in the wilderness may have had something to do with the fear factor.

The true source of this page is

Some readers may find the wild and at times seemingly lawless environment of my Tennessee home town in the accounts hard to swallow. For those I recommend reading Timeline: Cocke County Confidential By J.J. Stambaugh, August 1, 2005, at knoxnews.com (the website of a major regional newspaper). Last time I checked you had to register to get access to it, but such registration was free.

That piece is by no means definitive or comprehensive in its coverage. But it does offer up the iceberg's tip pretty well.

The more recent 2 Top Police Officials Resign in Tennessee (By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS; December 11, 2005) shows that the line between law and anarchy in my home state may still be finer than many would like, even today.

a - j m o o n e y h a m . c o m - o r i g i n a l

To see aspects of my early real-life experiences from which my stories are drawn-- different from those listed in this page-- you can read What did geeks do before personal computers and the internet were widespread?.

The VW bug described in the Moonshadow accounts existed too. And performed an amazing amount of off-road work for me.

I believe I've adequately changed enough about real life events in the stories so that I'll not raise the ire of anyone in particular. Plus, although the timeframe of events relating to Moonshadow isn't quite as old as Shadowfast's, it was still a long, long time ago. And as much of the airship stuff required substantial wilderness isolation, I didn't directly encounter or interact with nearly as many folks as described in my supercar experiences.

But you never know. If you learn of me having an unfortunate accident or going missing sometime after this material appeared online, then maybe I didn't change enough...

I never ever snapped a photo of Moonshadow. Not even pieces of the craft. For that would truly have been insane. Concept sketches and rough plans are one thing to have lying around for something like this: actual photos quite another.

Again, read the accounts to understand why taking snapshots seemed like an incredibly stupid thing to do at the time.

And unlike Shadowfast, I never had any friends or family anywhere around they could take photos of Moonshadow or any of its significant preparations.

Above some documentation on the VW bug. I've blacked out certain info here that I consider privacy sensitive.

If you've read this far, I've got a nifty surprise for you:

Moonshadow wasn't my only aircraft design.

And no, I'm NOT talking Project Fledgling here.

It took me a while, but eventually my imagination took flight once again. Of course I had to be even more careful the second time around.

I'm unsure at the moment when or even if I'll do much online documentation of the second craft. For lots of reasons. But as of 2006 I'm still a long ways from fully documenting Moonshadow itself. So I figure there's no hurry for number two, in any case.

BACK to Me and my Moonshadow flying wing

Copyright © 2005-2007 by J.R. Mooneyham. All rights reserved.
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