Missionary Nate Saint's idea catches on - 50 years later

From: Jack Haas <haas.john@comcast.net>
Date: Fri Apr 29 2005 - 11:26:37 EDT


You might be interested in this article about his idea.

ECUADOR, 1956. A small aircraft skims dangerously low over the
rainforest, making tight circles above a narrow canyon. The pilot is
Nate Saint, a missionary from the Mission Aviation Fellowship. He wants
to show the Waodani people in the remote settlement below that he is
friendly. Gifts are a universal language. Now all he has to do is drop
them into a small clearing.

Keeping one hand on the joystick, he reels a basket loaded with machetes
and cooking pots out of the plane on a long line. When enough rope is
paid out, Saint's tight circular flight path combines with the forces of
gravity and drag to hold the basket almost motionless in the air. He
lets out more line, lowering the basket until it hovers a metre above
the ground.

The Waodani understand, and reach into the basket for the gifts. They
even leave some in return - a feather head dress, some smoked meat and a
parrot which Saint's son later adopts as a pet.

Although Saint's "bucket drop" technique, perfected over the orange
groves of California, proved invaluable for making contact, it has been
largely ignored - until now. Read on in:


Received on Fri Apr 29 11:28:23 2005

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