Icarus, Superstar

By Jeff Bond

“Someone once said that science didn’t send man to the moon, science fiction did. Meaning the idea of a rocket being blasted into space came from the minds of science fiction writers, and science just imitated. The same can be said for what I’m doing.”

~James Carny, diary entry, December 16, 2004 

“James Carny insists that his ‘magic’ as he calls it is not an untapped source of energy that has always been there, unseen, but a new, modern energy that has come into its time.”

~John J. Pierce, Associate Professor of Polymer Chemistry, UCLA, June 2008 

“Man has always wanted to fly. What I’m doing is no more a miracle than what the Wright brothers did. I’m just doing it without gas or wings or a pilot.”

~James Carny, interview, Communications in Theoretical Physics, July 2009 


“It’s hardly a surprise that Mr. Carny’s unorthodox research has been met with skepticism. I’ve heard that Orville Wright had his life threatened when he announced he was on the verge of flight. James Carny’s work is merely another side of the science coin. It’s one of the few times in memory that someone has had the privilege of saying to the know-it-alls, ‘You think you know everything, but you know so little.’ His work will shape the 21st Century.” 

~Ruth Becker, two days before the assassination attempt on her life, November 23, 2009 

“There is a Ray Bradbury story about a Chinese emperor who is taken in secret to see a man who has discovered how to fly, and the emperor wisely sees that the man and his ideas die instantly. He was thinking of the Great Wall and the safety of his people. Sadly, we have all seen James Carny fly, and the emperor can’t have us all killed.” 

~Christopher van Horn, letter, Advances in Physics, December 2009 

“It’s no secret how I fly. I just think that I am flying and I am. I can think of other things and still fly. And not only am I flying, I am ecstatic, like I’m on a special drug.”

~James Carny, testifying before the European Panel of Modern Scientists, December 2009 

“James Carny is the greatest scientist of our time, even if, or perhaps especially because he rejects science.”

~Dr. Hiram Paust, letter, Quantum Gravity and Mathematics, December 2009 

“The world is on the verge of a major revolution, the most important of our time.” 

~Deidre LaTorres, Foreword, Collected New Theories, Edited by Brenda Paul, 2010 

“Welcome to the second Age of Enlightenment.” 

~Dr. Helga Greene, Center for the Study of Dimensional Psychiatry, February 2010 

“I would vote for James Carny for president.” 

~Bob Bell, deleted comment on planetalk.com, February 2010 

“You look into my eyes and see God. That’s what frightens you.” 

~James Carny, to Ruth Becker, PBS NewsHour, April 5, 2010 

“He’s a man with ideas far ahead of his time. The world is not ready. I fear for his life.”

~Rev. Paul D’Innocenzio, May 2010 

“The world will forget me, I will cease to exist. They’re trying to erase me.” 

~James Carny, diary entry, July 10, 2010 

“The world has forgotten James Carny, like he never happened. They have forgotten that he flew. They dropped what they could not hold in their hands.”

~Mona Carny, James Carny’s mother, April 2014 

“No, I would not participate in a project aimed at documenting James’ experiments. One man has lost his life, two others survived assassination attempts. The world wants nothing to do with James Carny or his ideas. He wanted to play God. You can’t do that.” 

~Bert Schrerr, James Carny’s former business partner, December 2014 

“If I could go back, and no doubt there’s some irony there, like people think that because I can fly, why can’t I travel in time, I would do things differently. If I could go back and find my mother when she was pregnant with me, perhaps I would tell her that the world will someday wish her child had never been born, that she should kill the baby so that he won’t grow up to do what he will do, but... No, I don’t think that I will be remembered for what I’ve done. I don’t think the world will remember. No, I do not.” 

~James Carny, final diary entry, August 15, 2010 

“I’d rather not speak about James Carny.” 

~Helen John, June 18, 2017

“I do not know anyone by that name.” 

~Ruth Becker, August 3, 2019

About the author

Jeff Bond is a writer in New York City. He also creates and edits video that can be seen on his website, jeffbond.nyc, and he has for decades been a staple of Manhattan daylife as a Happy Hour bartender. His stories have appeared in the Carolina Quarterly, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and The New Engagement.

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The Aerialist

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