Buck Rogers owned one and so did James Bond. The amazing rocketbelt — a rocket-powered flying backpack — was a science fiction gadget that actually became reality, built and flown for the U.S. Army in the early 1960s. The device eventually became a lucrative entertainment attraction, appearing in the James Bond movie “Thunderball,” and at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
But wannabe rocketeers from around the globe wanted their own rocketbelts. Most notably, three friends from Texas built the high-flying Rocketbelt 2000. But their obsession with the machine shattered their friendship and set in motion an astonishing chain of events involving crash landings, assault, a bizarre kidnapping, a $10 million lawsuit, and a brutal murder.
“The Rocketbelt Caper: A True Tale of Invention, Obsession and Murder” by Paul Brown presents the complete history of the rocketbelt, and reveals the incredible true story of the Rocketbelt 2000 caper. It also features an instructive Building a Rocketbelt essay, plus photographs.
The book, published by Lulu Press, sells for $17.95. It is available on Amazon.com and other online bookstores.