First Rocket Belt conference and pilot reunion
Niagara Falls, New York
 Aerospace Museum

September 23 & 24, 2006
(click on any thumbnail photo to see it larger)

The first ever Rocket Belt Pilot's reunion and technical conference was organized by Peter Gijsberts from the Netherlands and Kathleen Lennon Clough from Maryland.  I estimated about 300 attended.  People came from as far away as Australia, Spain, England, Switzerland, Sweden and in the USA from California to Florida.  See Peter's Rocket Belt website for a summary:   To date, only 11 men in history have free-flown a rocket belt. More men have walked on the moon!

Go Fast did live rocket belt flights by Eric Scott in front of the Museum on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons. 

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(In flight photo of Eric by Ky Michaelson)

Doug came to town with his old rocket friend Ky Michaelson and Ky's friend Jeff from Bloomington, Minnesota.  We arrived in Niagara Falls late on Thursday September 21.  Got to meet Nancy Wright, the sister of Joe Wright, and her friend Sanford Langworthy before calling it a night.

Next day several of us were picked up by Bill Suitor for breakfast at his 1700's era home.  After taking us on a quick tour of Niagara Falls, Bill set us all up for an afternoon sail on Lake Ontario with his friend Rick Lohr.  Bill's sons, Jason and Brian are part of Rick's racing crew.  Long fun day followed by dinner at the Yacht Club that evening.

Conference Co-chair, Peter Gijsberts from the Netherlands, Doug, Ky Michaelson & famous rocket belt pilot, Bill Suitor.
(Photo by Ky)

Captain Rick Lohr, owner & president of International Chimney Corporation. 

Jason Suitor

Brian Suitor

Peter & Scientific writer, Barry DiGregorio

Fort Niagara on our right as we sail out onto Lake Ontario

Bill Suitor & Nino Amarena

The party has begun!  Peter & Nino

(watch that tilt! -

Pro seaman - Jason Suitor

Out goes the Spinnaker.

Nino's turn to be Captain

Barry DiGregorio, Scientific writer pondering H20 vs H2O2??

Best part of the sailing afternoon for me personally was that the cell phones were working fine some 8 to 10 miles from shore. 

I called my wife, Karen, back in California.  It was September 22, 2006 and her Mom Gladys's 92nd birthday!  I had Karen put her Mom Gladys on the phone and we all sang Happy 92nd Birthday - from a sail boat on Lake Ontario.  She loved it and the video of all of us singing that I took back home. (VIDEO)

Late that evening Peter and I walked across the bridge to the Canadian side to go get a close up look at both falls.  Got back at 12:30 AM.

The conference started Saturday morning.  The two super highlights of the days events were Harold Graham's hilarious skit (he was the world's first rocket belt pilot) and the afternoon Go Fast rocket flight by Eric Scott.

Doug checks out Ky's rocket chair, specially built for the comfort of senior citizens who still dream of personal flight.
(Photo by Ky)

Eric Scott - Go Fast Rocket Belt pilot.

Eric instructs police on flight safety requirements.

Fueled and ready to fly!

Final check.

A big thumbs up after his fantastic flight in front of the museum.

Nancy Wright, sister of Joe Wright - partner in the ill-fated RB2000 rocket Belt with Ky. 
(Photo by Ky)

On the second day of the conference Ky & I gave our presentations.  Ky had a documentary video made by Japanese TV of many of his rocket projects over the years.  His voice was dubbed in deep Japanese which was riot! 

I talked a bit about my minimal involvement in the ill fated RB 2000 rocket belt and let Nancy Wright say a few words about her brother Joe and his love of the project.  Cut my talk a bit short to squeeze in an encore of Harold Graham's original Ukulele song "My Rocketbelt Daze" (video at UTube).  Of course, the day and the conference concluded with a second awesome Go Fast flight

    The world's first Rocket Belt pilot, Harold Graham, had more fun than anybody at the conference!  He was fabulous!  Harold wore his original rubber suit and helmet with a PVC rocket belt mockup for his grand entrance and skit. (Photo by Ky)

Book Description from 

James Bond meets the Coen Brothers in this riveting true story of three friends and their quest to build a Buck Rogers-style flying machine - the amazing Rocketbelt 2000. Perhaps the least incredible thing about their tale is that they succeeded in building and flying their futuristic device. But their obsession with the rocketbelt shattered their friendship and set in motion an astonishing chain of events involving theft, deception, violent assault, a bizarre kidnapping, a ten million dollar lawsuit, and a horrifically brutal murder. The Rocketbelt Caper also reveals the secret history of the rocketbelt, and the pioneering men who built and piloted it. The book includes twelve pages of photographs, plus 'Building a Rocketbelt: A Cautionary Essay' by Frank Dickman.

Rocket belt pilots - John Spencer, Harold Graham, Eric Scott, Peter Keirdezki, Bill Suitor & Nelson Tyler

Rocket belt projects from around the world on display at the museum.  (Photo by Ky)

Doug Malewicki with Ky sitting in his rocket chair in front of the museum.  (Photo by Ky)

Ky Michaelson, Conference co-chair Peter Gijsberts from the Netherlands, Bill Suitor in the rocket chair and co-chair
Kathleen Lennon Clough(Photo by Ky)

Ky Michaelson chats with Eric Scott before the flight.

Eric just after touchdown


Doug, Eric & Ky

Conference co-chair, Kathleen Lennon Clough, happy the convention went so well.