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Friday, December 08, 2006
If you ask the internet a question...
You may remember Brian "Rocket Guy" Walker, the Bend inventor that became a media sensation six or so years ago after attempting to build his own spaceship. When his launch deadline came and went, he seemingly disappeared from existence. I wrote a post about him a while back. At the end I asked "are you out there, Rocket Guy?" but never expected a response. Well, it took a while but I finally got one.
Of course, Walker never got the message but at least one other person out there has been wondering the same thing. In this month's issue of Portland Monthly there's an article by freelance writer Tim Neville titled "The Rise (and Fall) and Rise (and Fall) and Rise of Rocket Guy" that explains the hurdles that have prevented Walker from launching himself into the stratosphere.
And, yeah, my old blog post about Walker landed a mention in the article. Well, kind of. Tim contacted me a few months ago and asked if he could use a quote. Here's the excerpt:
By 2004, not only had Walker failed even to test his prototype rocket, but he had stopped posting updates to his web site and stopped answering most of his fan mail; the man who called himself Rocket Guy had simply fallen off the face of the earth. Fans, however, still wondered where he was. "Is Walker still working on his dream to fly to space?" one Portland based blogger recently lobbed into the blogosphere. "Are you still out there Rocket Guy?"
Portland Monthly doesn't post its stories online but a copy can found on news stands around town. Walker's life story is sure to become a part of Oregon lore, the sort of real-life tall tale that I imagine people will still be talking about decades from now ala the exploding whale. At the very least, it's the only story you'll find in a local publication this month involving spaceships, Russian brides, millionaire toy inventors, assault rifles, the Alvord AND Snoop Dogg.