Monday, February 14, 2011
Lucas Jacobsøn Debes (1623 in Stubbekøbing - 1675) was a Danish priest, topographer, rocket scientist and celebrated writer about the Faroe Islands. In 1673, he built the first rocket-powered aircraft in the world, with the purpose of escaping the local bailiff's clutches. When he finally reached Denmark (after mistakenly landing in Northern England), Debes was barely conscious and all of his limbs had suffered severe frostbite from the lack of frost shielding in the craft. He was then promptly wheeled into the Dutch Parliament, little more than a stump, and reported the bailiff's numerous abuses and saved the Faroese.