WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 1908 (UP) A shapeless mass of splintered wood, twisted wire, bent tubing and torn canvas, the Wright brothers' aeroplane, which only a few days ago was astonishing the world with its air-conquering exploits, lies inert today on the floor of the "Aerial Garage" at Fort Myer.
Cold in death rests Lieutenant Thomas E. Selfridge-the army's first sacrifice to the science of aeronautics. With fractured ribs and thigh, bruised and helpless, Orville Wright is being tenderly cared for at the fort hospital, still ignorant of the tragic outcome of his last voyage.
This afternoon, it was stated at Fort Myer Hospital that Orville Wright's condition was entirely satisfactory. He was resting comfortably, and there was no cause for alarm.
The triple catastrophe came on the very eve of what promised to be the daring aviator's greatest triumph. To-day, he was to have made his official test for speed. For the first time, he would have forsaken the circular course above the parade ground of the fort and sailed his craft over the Virginia hills for five miles straight and return, in the hope of meeting the Signal Corps' requirement of forty miles an hour.
"Lieutenant Selfridge is a martyr to progress," said Major Squier, acting as chief signal officer. "Even if there should be no more flights, the question of aerial navigation has, to my mind, been solved for all time. The last four performances of the Wright aeroplane have scientifically proven its place in history."
Major Fournier, the French military attach