WILKINS AND THE BRIDGE

Wilkins-Bridge2.jpg
image from Geoffrey B. Scott

I am not the only one who saves everything about the Moon. The recent news about the video of H. Percy Wilkins,
reminded Geoffrey that he saved this magazine article when it appeared in 1954! This is page 2 of an article that is
largely about the supposed natural bridge reported by an American observer, O'Neill, but promoted most strenuously
by Wilkins. O'Neill's precedence is acknowledged (without naming him) but "because he died without registering an
official claim" the article credits Wilkins for the discovery. WIlkins recovered it despite the "heavy mists" that some-
times obscure Mare Crisium. Astronomers - anyone other than Wilkins? - believe a "meteorite from outer space may
have crashed through a barrier of lava, leaving the arch." I know that articles and even TV appearances can include
information and attitudes not held by the interviewee, but this is is pretty enthusiastic support for something that
does not exist. The ballyhoo about this supposed 20 mile long and two mile wide arch damaged Wilkin's reputation
with professional astronomers and ultimately even the British Astronomical Association, which he was forced to
resign from. Like many others, Geoffrey and his father looked for O'Neill's Bridge but couldn't find it. Page 1 of the
article is at the bottom of this page.

Chuck Wood

Related Links
T. Dobbins and R. Baum (1998) O'Neill's Bridge Remembered. Sky and Telescope 95/1, 105-108.



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