Dayton, December 19, 1905
We have no objection at all to a statement of our progress being made to the Am. Ass'n for the Advancement of Science, but as we are not members, and moreover refuse to reveal our machine and methods, a statement volunteered by us might be regarded as an impertinence. You may make a statement regarding our performances if you wish, but we prefer that nothing be said of our machine and methods, except that the machine is of the aeroplane type. If you wish it we will send you a formal signed statement regarding the flights we have made, in 1903 4 5.
We are not sure but that the "friend," whose visit is announced by Capt. Ferber, will prove to be the representative of a syndicate of sportsmen instead of an army officer. If so, a deal with him would necessitate a change in our present plans for other countries. We would be very glad to have your advice as to what precautions we should take in negotiating with a professed agent of an unincorporated syndicate who might make public the terms discussed without entering into an enforceable contract. What credentials should we demand regarding the powers of the agent and the reliability of the principals?
I enclose a clipping from Les Sports giving Mr. Archdeacon's view. We have had a good laugh at his assumed perspicacity and wisdom. If stealing is so easy, why has he not stolen something from the birds long ago?
We have a mysterious cable from Mr. Lahm (Dec. 18) saying: "Am working for you. Avoid publicity."
Octave Chanute to Wilbur Wright, December 21, 1905