Join as early aviation historian Roy Mize spins a tale of “Aerial Treason,” a story of spies, Sunset Magazine, the silver screen, and pioneer San Jose aviator Bob Fowler’s 1914 “dance” with the U.S. Attorney General.
In April 1914, Sunset Magazine publisher Charles K. Field put his personal liberty and the future of his magazine on the line when he published pictures and a story and about the military defenses of the nearly completed Panama Canal.
The Attorney General of the United States charged Field and three other men as spies: Robert George Fowler, famous early aviator; Riley E. Scott, West Point graduate turned bomb-dropping expert; and Ray Duhem, San Francisco aerial movie maker.
Their efforts challenged the status quo for military defenses that protected coastal installations. The article’s title ignited a national firestorm: Can The Panama Canal Be Destroyed From The Air?