Regular readers know how fondly we cared for the late Julian Nott, balloonist, pilot, inventor, and physicist extraordinaire. So, we thought we’d share this memory from his widow, Anne Luther:
“In following the anniversary celebrations of the moon landing recently it was hard not to remember how much of a hero Neil Armstrong was to Julian. Julian knew most of the key astronauts personally, something you might think odd for a balloon pilot, but he was the first to reach the stratosphere in a balloon with a pressurized cabin. Not a true astronaut but they were all pretty impressed with his flights.
“In his files are many letters of correspondence with astronauts but one in particular stands out for me, a very personal and charming letter Neil wrote him in 1997 about the press. Among his observations and complaints, he writes ‘I constantly make personal appearances and speak to groups all over the world. Yet the press calls me a recluse, as I have long maintained a policy of not granting individual interviews. In any case, it probably suits my purpose better than if the press and I had the same opinion.’ And he signs the letter, Your ‘reclusive’ friend, Neil’.”
D) Julian Nott (right) with his friend, the first man to set foot on the moon, the “reclusive” Neil Armstrong