Pictures: Gustave Whitehead Monument Vandalized?

Random, or are Wright Brothers backers to blame?

Gustave Whitehead sign damage

Gustave Whitehead sign damage

In a disturbing development in the increased focus on Gustave Whitehead possibly beating the Wright Brothers into the air by more than two years, Flying has learned that a monument to the flying pioneer in Bridgeport, Connecticut, apparently has been vandalized. Early flight enthusiast Andy Kosch heard about the damage and checked it out firsthand:

In an email he shared with Flying, he said that after inspecting the monument, he found that a "3½- or 4-foot panel had been smashed in." The panel in question, Kosch wrote, "says 'First in Flight, Gustave Whitehead, Bridgeport, Connecticut, Born 1874, Died 1927." Subsequently, Kosch filed a police report and a Bridgeport police officer followed up with a report.

There’s no word on what the police have discovered or whether the damage was accidental and coincidental to the first flight controversy. Based on the photographic evidence, it definitely looks to have been an intentional act. Check out the photos and judge for yourself.