Simon Newcombe (1835-1909) was a celebrated astronomer who insisted in various articles that manned flight was physically impossible.
“The demonstration that no possible combination of known substances, known forms of machinery and known forms of force, can be united in a practical machine by which men shall fly along distances through the air, seems to the writer as complete as it is possible for the demonstration to be.”
“Aerial flight is one of that class of problems with which men will never have to cope”
“Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.”
-born in Wallace, Nova Scotia, Canada (Newfie! no wonder!
-the airfoil wasn't discovered/invented when he made these claims