>> True Information: It was newspapers looking for a catchy nickname that came up with “Flash.” It first appeared in a newspaper on September 17, 1931, in Camden, Ohio, referring to “Phillip W. ‘Flys’ Browning and a L. Ron ‘Flash’ Hubbard” giving plane rides to residents. The paper went on to refer to “Flash” Hubbard as “a dare devil speed pilot.”
In July 1934, H. Latane Lewis II describes the nickname in an article for The Pilot magazine where he featured Mr. Hubbard. Mr. Lewis began his article with these opening words:
“Whenever two or three pilots are gathered together around the nation’s capital, whether it be a Congressional hearing or just in the back of some hangar, you’ll probably hear the name of Ron Hubbard mentioned, accompanied by such adjectives as ‘crazy,’ ‘wild’ and ‘dizzy.’ For the flaming-haired pilot hit the city like a tornado a few years ago and made women scream and strong men weep by his aerial antics. He just dared the ground to come up and hit him.
“In the beginning, Ron (also known as ‘Flash’) hailed from out West, but only stayed long enough to be born. Since then he has been a dweller of the world at large and there are few nooks and corners of the earth that he hasn’t poked into. Before he fell from grace and became an aviator, he was, at various times, top sergeant in the Marines, radio crooner, newspaper reporter, gold miner in the West Indies and movie director-explorer, having led a motion picture expedition into the South Seas aboard an ancient windjammer.
“Then he turned to glider flying. And that is what gave Washington its biggest thrill, for Ron could do more stunts in a sailplane than most pilots can in a pursuit job. He would come out of spins at an altitude of thirty inches and thumb his nose at the undertakers who used to come out to the field and titter.”