Little more than a month has passed since three naval officers left the air station at Rockaway in a balloon. But in that month their flight, ostensibly made on experimental purposes, has aroused throughout the country a degree of interest in naval aeronautics that is surpassed only by the transatlantic trip of the four "NC" biplanes. Besides the desire to know the reasons for a flight which so nearly ended in disaster, there is also a justifiable curiosity concerning the reports of the journey--reports that contradict each other at almost every turn. The days of melodrama for melodrama's sake have passed; so that when, in these latter days, the life of a man hangs on the howling of a dog, and a matter-of-fact balloon trip culminates in a fist fight in a North Canadian log hut, there is a natural desire to seek out the "whys and wherefores" that lie beneath the surface.
It is to be hoped that the "scoop" instinct of the news-starved reporters, and the inevitable misunderstandings between men who have been deprived of all human intercourse for nearly a month, were chiefly responsible for the unfortunate incident which marred the return of the trio. The investigation ordered by Secretary Daniels should bring to light many interesting facts. Now that the flight is ended, and its purpose--whatever it was--accomplished, there can be no cause for further secrecy. Perhaps if the truth is known, it will put an end to any more such "experimental" flights.